Rocket fired from Gaza strikes southern Israel

Rocket fired from Gaza strikes southern Israel

Negotiators from the rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have traveled to Egypt to launch negotiations on ending a 10-year rift.

Senior figures in Islamist movement Hamas and secular party Fatah will meet in the Egyptian capital on Tuesday as they seek to end a division that has crippled Palestinian politics.

Home to almost two million Palestinians, the Gaza Strip has been reeling under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007.

While no group immediately claimed Sunday's rocket attempt, Israel holds Hamas responsible for all fire emanating from the Strip.

"As the rocket fire endangered Israeli citizens and violated Israeli sovereignty, a tank targeted and destroyed a Hamas observation point in the southern Gaza Strip", the Israeli army said in a statement. Since the beginning of the Palestinian internal split between Gaza and the West Bank, or Hamas and Fatah, they had so far failed to end their split and achieve full reconciliation.

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The split has complicated any potential peace negotiations with Israel.

Egypt's push for Palestinian reconciliation led Hamas to dissolve the administrative committee it set up in March to run Gaza affairs, which allowed the Ramallah-based Palestinian government to travel to Gaza last week and assume responsibility of all the ministries.

The border with Gaza has been fairly quiet in recent months.

Hamas, the terror group that rules Gaza, has largely refrained from firing rockets into Israel since it fought a 50-day war with Israel in 2014.

Hamas is considered a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union, and Israel has said it would reject any reconciliation agreement in which Hamas didn't disarm.

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