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Israeli forces pound Beit Lahia in Gaza Strip following false Iron Dome alert

The smoke of a rocket fired by Palestinian Hamas militants seen over Gaza City on March 25, 2018 as they take part in a military maneuver. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli forces have pounded the Palestinian town of Beit Lahia after dozens of rocket sirens sounded in southern Israel following light artillery fire from a drill carried out by Hamas' military arm in the northern Gaza Strip.

The Iron Dome missile system was activated several times late Sunday evening as a result of the artillery fire from the Hamas' maneuver.

There were no immediate reports on the possible casualties from the attack.

Israeli media reported multiple interceptions launched from Ashkelon following barrage of rockets fired from Gaza. But the Israeli army later confirmed no rockets had been fired into Israel. It said the Iron dome anti-missile system was activated after heavy machine gun shootings in the Gaza strip.

The Israeli military frequently bombs the Gaza Strip, with civilians being the main target of such attacks.

Israel has also launched several wars on the Palestinian coastal sliver, the last of which began in early July 2014. The military aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. Over 11,100 others were also wounded in the war.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

The Israeli regime denies about 1.8 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs with proper wages as well as adequate healthcare and education.

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