Rocket fired into Israel from Gaza stokes fears of major clashes

Israeli soldiers watch as a military armored bulldozer moves concrete barricade blocks to close a road near the border with Gaza

Enlarge Image Israeli soldiers watch as a military armored bulldozer moves concrete barricade blocks to close a road near the border with Gaza Reuters

"Hamas welcomes the UN Human Rights Council's resolution that condemns the Israeli occupation for its crimes against the peaceful protesters at the Great Return March east of Gaza", the group said in a statement.

A general view shows an emergency responder inspecting a damaged house after it was hit by a rocket in the village of Mishmeret, north of Tel Aviv on March 25, 2019.

Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service said it treated seven people, including an infant, a 3-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl and a 60-year-old woman who was suffering from blast injuries, burns and shrapnel wounds.

Since Palestinians began holding rallies along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone on March 30 past year, more than 250 demonstrators have been killed by Israeli army gunfire.

Netanyahu, who is in the USA, said he would be cutting short his U.S. visit and would return home.

"This was a criminal attack on Israel and we will respond forcefully", Prime Minister Netanyahu said after announcing he would return early from Washington once he had met US President Donald Trump.

Local media reports said Monday's rocket was also fired by accident.

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However, recent Gaza violence has put a dent in Netanyahu's tough-on-security image at a time when he is running neck-and-neck with centrist challenger Benny Gantz, a former armed forces chief, and facing calls for tough action from his political rivals who are competing with him for the right-wing vote.

Four Palestinians were reported wounded in those strikes.

The Israeli military said militants from Gaza's ruling Hamas movement fired the rocket from one of their launching pads in southern Gaza Strip, near Rafah. Maj.

Later on Sunday, the army said a tank targeted a Hamas military position in the north of the enclave, after "balloons with explosives attached were launched from Gaza" and further explosive devices were thrown near the border.

The reports were a sign that Israel was seeking to calm tensions.

Monday's rocket comes just days ahead of the first anniversary on March 30 of Palestinian protests and clashes along the Gaza Strip's border with Israel.

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