Gaza militants fire rockets at Beersheba, Israel

Officials inspect the scene of the rocket attack on Beersheba, Israel (23 Feb 2011) Beersheba residents took shelter in safe rooms before the rocket hit

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip has hit a house in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.

The strike on the city was the first since Israel's 2009 offensive in Gaza. No casualties were reported and the situation was said to be under control.

Israel responded by carrying out an air strike on eastern Gaza City which reportedly injured three militants.

The attack came hours after an Israeli tank fired on Palestinians in Gaza, killing one person.

Palestinian sources said 11 people were injured, including three children.

The Israeli army said a group of militants had been planting explosives on the border in an attempt to attack their patrols.

Beersheba is about 30 km (20 miles) from the Gaza Strip.

Officials said one house in the city was extensively damaged when it was hit by a Grad rocket, which have a longer range than the homemade rockets which have been fired from Gaza before.

Residents took refuge in safe rooms prepared for such incidents before the rocket hit.

A second Grad rocket was reported to have fallen near the town of Netivot, causing no injuries.

The Islamist group Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and Israel had largely halted hostilities since the 2009 war in Gaza, but skirmishes often break out around the border area.

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