Gaza has been under the control of Hamas since 2007. The Islamist group rejects permanent peace with Israeland the two sides fought a three-week war in December-January 2008-2009. The border is tense, with frequent clashes.
The Israeli army says over 470 rockets have been fired from Gaza this year, but it was the first time since June thatHamas had acknowledged launching rockets at Israel. A Hamas spokesman said the movement would not remain passive in the face of what it called "one-sided" Israeli violence.