Israel shells Gaza compounds after rocket attacks

GAZA Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:31pm EDT

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GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli forces shelled two compounds run by the Hamas government's security services in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, wounding two Palestinians, Hamas said.

Israel described the targets as weapons manufacturing and storage sites and said they were hit in retaliation for recent short-range rocket salvoes launches from the coastal enclave into the Jewish state.

Two such salvoes, on Sunday and Monday, caused no casualties and were claimed by ultra-conservative Salafi Islamists who have a presence in Gaza and the neighboring Egyptian Sinai.

The Salafis chafe at Hamas' authority in Gaza, considering its Islamist rule there as too moderate, though they share its hostility to Israel.

Hamas has at times tried to rein in cross-border violence, both to impose truces and assert its domestic control.

Israel's long-standing policy has been to blame Hamas, against which it fought a war in 2008-2009, for all attacks.

"The Hamas terror organization is solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip," the Israeli military said in a statement.

The shelling early on Tuesday came from Israeli military aircraft and naval ships and targeted two compounds in Gaza City, Hamas officials said. Two women in nearby homes were injured by flying debris, hospital officials said.

(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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