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Several children have been injured after Israeli forces shelled areas east of Khan Younis. The Israeli military said it had targeted two members of “global jihadist” groups which were suspected of involvement in a cross-border attack from Egypt in June that left one Israeli dead.

Medical sources in Gaza said an Israeli shell had landed east of Khan Younis, injuring five people, among them several children.

Earlier today, rockets launched from Gaza landed in Israel’s Eshkol region and near Kerem Shalom, although  no-one was hurt.

Shrapnel from the mortars and rockets fired into southern Israel on Monday caused some damage to at least one building in Eshkol.

Afterwards, the local authorities asked residents to stay close to shelters.

The military wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad said the attack was a response to an Israeli air strike on Sunday.

Eight civilians, including two children, were injured in that strike, when a missile hit a motorbike ridden by two militants as it travelled through the southern town of Rafah.

One of the militants, Abdullah Maqawi, died of his wounds on Monday, while the other is seriously hurt.

Hamas’s military wing, the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, and that of Islamic Jihad, the al-Quds Brigades, announced that the rocket fire was a response to “Zionist crimes”.

“In response to the injury of civilians in the most recent strike on Rafah, the Qassam Brigades and the al-Quds Brigades fired a number of rockets at enemy military positions,” a Hamas statement said.

In a statement, the Israeli military said: “In response to this morning’s rocket barrage at southern Israeli communities, the [Israel Defence Forces] targeted Hamas terror activity sites and terrorist squads responsible for the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

“The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians, and will operate against anyone who uses terror against the State of Israel. The Hamas terror organisation is solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip.”

More than 470 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel this year, not including those launched on Monday, the statement added.