The Associated Press
March 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian militants fired a rocket into southern Israel yesterday, while Israeli troops killed two Palestinians along the volatile border with Gaza. It came a day after Palestinian militants fired about 50 mortar bombs into Israel – the heaviest assault since an Israeli offensive two years ago.

Both Gaza's Hamas rulers and Israel have largely honoured an informal ceasefire since the 2009 war. The Hamas-allied Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for yesterday's rocket attack. No one was hurt.

Adham Abu Salmia, a Gaza health ministry spokesman, said a 22-year-old man in Gaza suffered moderate shrapnel wounds from Israeli tank fire after the rocket attack. Israel said militants fired upon troops patrolling the border, who then returned fire, identifying one hit.

Mr Abu Salmia said rescue teams also recovered the bodies of two Palestinian men killed overnight.

Hamas has signalled it is not interested in renewing violence with Israel since the 2009 offensive. Some 1,400 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, were killed in the fighting. Thirteen Israelis died.

Since then, smaller rivals to Hamas have carried out most of the violence, but the Islamic group claimed responsibility for some of Saturday's mortar fire, which slightly wounded two Israelis.


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