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IDF says Palestinian militants launched rocket at Israel from Gaza Strip

JERUSALEM – Palestinian militants launched a rocket at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Sunday evening, the IDF said, adding that the rocket was intercepted.

The launch came at a time of heightened tensions following the escape of six Palestinian militants from an Israeli prison last week and the lingering hostilities of an 11-day war last May.

Over the weekend, Israel captured four of the six escaped prisoners and stepped up its search for the two remaining fugitives.

In response, Gaza militants fired rockets at Israel for three consecutive nights. Israel typically responds to rocket fire with airstrikes on targets linked to the ruling Hamas militant group in Gaza.

Tensions were compounded by continuing difficulties in achieving a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas after the May war.

Egypt tried to negotiate an agreement. Hamas has demanded that Israel lift a painful economic blockade of Gaza, while Israel wants Hamas to release two Israeli civilians and return the remains of two dead Israeli soldiers it holds.

Israel and Hamas have also been unable to agree on a system for Qatar to provide social benefits to thousands of families in Gaza.

Israel says it is looking for guarantees that Hamas does not divert any of the funds for military purposes.

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ABC News