Gaza militants - AP
Masked Palestinian militants in Gaza prepare to fire rockets into Israel. Photo by AP
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A Qassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in the western Negev region on Friday morning, causing no injuries or damage.

Late Thursday, Israeli aircraft struck two sites in Gaza in retaliation for rocket and mortar fire from the territory on southern Israel during the preceding 48 hours, the Israeli military said.

Security officials with the ruling militant Hamas movement and Palestinian residents reported that four sites were hit. There was no way to immediately reconcile the conflicting reports.

Hamas officials reported five people were wounded in an attack on a training base for security forces of Gaza's militant ruling Hamas movement. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

The Israel Defense Forces said aircraft also struck southern Gaza, where Palestinians operate underground tunnels to smuggle weapons and other contraband from Egypt.

In the two days before the IAF air strikes, three rockets and mortars fired from Gaza landed in Israel, the military said. No injuries were reported in those attacks.

Rocket and mortar fire from Gaza were a near-daily event for years before Israel launched a bruising war in Gaza in the winter of 2008. Attacks and border clashes continue, but on a much-reduced scale.