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Israeli aircraft strike, Netanyahu accuses world of ignoring Gaza rockets

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Palestinians survey a Hamas site after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip May 27, 2015. Israeli aircraft struck a number of sites in the Gaza Strip from the air early on Wednesday, residents and the Israeli military said, after a rocket that Palestinian militants fired from the enclave landed near the Israeli port city of Ashdod. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Palestinians survey a Hamas site after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip May 27, 2015. Israeli aircraft struck a number of sites in the Gaza Strip from the air early on Wednesday, residents and the Israeli military said, after a rocket that Palestinian militants fired from the enclave landed near the Israeli port city of Ashdod. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

REUTERS

Palestinians survey a Hamas site after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip May 27, 2015. Israeli aircraft struck a number of sites in the Gaza Strip from the air early on Wednesday, residents and the Israeli military said, after a rocket that Palestinian militants fired from the enclave landed near the Israeli port city of Ashdod. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Israeli aircraft struck the Gaza Strip after the latest in a series of Palestinian rocket attacks that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the international community of ignoring.

The Omar Brigades, a Palestinian group that supports Islamic State, claimed responsibility for Saturday's salvo, which, like the Israeli strike, caused no casualties.

It was the third such rocket strike by Jihadi Salafis, radical rivals of Hamas, who are demanding the ruling Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip release imprisoned Islamic State sympathisers and that Israel frees Palestinian inmates.

Political analysts in Gaza said the Salafis hoped the prospect of the collapse of Hamas's ceasefire with Israel, after a 50-day war nearly a year ago, would pressure the group to free the men.

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A Palestinian boy cleans debris near a training base of the Ezzedine al-Qassam brigades, the military wing of Hamas, in Gaza City, after Israeli warplanes struck multiple militant targets in the Palestinian coastal Strip on June 4, 2015, in response to Palestinian rocket fire. Nobody was injured, according to Palestinian security sources. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABEDMOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

A Palestinian boy cleans debris near a training base of the Ezzedine al-Qassam brigades, the military wing of Hamas, in Gaza City, after Israeli warplanes struck multiple militant targets in the Palestinian coastal Strip on June 4, 2015, in response to Palestinian rocket fire. Nobody was injured, according to Palestinian security sources. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABEDMOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Netanyahu seized on the strikes to launch his own attack against international criticism of his right-wing government's policies toward the Palestinians and its opposition to a burgeoning nuclear deal between world powers and Iran.

"I did not hear anybody in the international community condemn this firing at us from Gaza, neither has the United Nations said a word," he told his cabinet in public remarks.

Hinting at a stronger Israeli military response to any further cross-border attacks, Netanyahu said: "It will be interesting to see if this silence continues when we use our full strength to uphold our right to defend ourselves."

Netanyahu said: "The spreading hypocrisy in the world will not tie our hands in protecting Israeli citizens". Israel's critics, he said, were accusing it of failing to pursue peace when it was the Palestinians who "ran away from negotiations".

After Saturday's rocket strike, Israel closed the Kerem Shalom border terminal, the main conduit for shipment of commercial goods to Gaza, and the Erez passenger crossing.

The rocket, which triggered warning sirens in the city of Ashkelon, about 10 km (6 miles) north of Gaza, exploded in an open area. Israeli aircraft later struck a Hamas training facility, where no casualties were reported.

Reuters