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A Qassam rocket fired by Gaza militants hit a house in the western Negev town of Sderot on Saturday morning, causing damage but no injuries.

A second rocket hit a road near the town, but did not cause any damage.

The residents of the Sderot house were away at the time of the rocket strike, and while the Qassam damaged the roof, it did not penetrate into the building.

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attacks.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, Palestinian militants fired a total of six rockets since Friday night.

On Friday, three Islamic Jihad militants were killed during a gun battle with Border Police forces in the village of Silat al-Hartiyah, west of Jenin.

Palestinians said senior militant Mahdi Abu Hir, 27, was killed in the clash together with two of his deputies, Palestinian sources said. They added Abu Hir had just recently been released from an Israeli prison where he had been jailed for four years.

Military sources reported that the Palestinian militants had been driving their vehicle through the village when they noticed that they were being followed by undercover Border Police troops, and consequently opened fire. The Border Policemen returned fire, killing three gunmen and forcing the others to flee.

Two M-16 assault rifles were found in the abandoned vehicle.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Friday that "the armed factions will fight Israel if it takes action in the Gaza Strip," adding that "the paramilitary organizations have a right to defend their homes."

During Friday prayers in Gaza, Haniyeh also said that Israel and United States are trying to instigate a Palestinian civil war, and emphasized that "the Palestinian people are united."