Remains of rocket in rubble of destroyed home
Remains of rocket in rubble of destroyed homePolice spokesman

A Hamas official denied Israel's accusation that it was behind Monday's rocket strike on a town in central Israel, north of Tel Aviv, Monday morning which wounded seven Israelis and led Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to vow a strong response.

"No one from the resistance movements, including Hamas, has an interest in firing rockets from the Gaza Strip towards the enemy," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity, evoking the possibility that it may have been caused by "bad weather".

He added that the same message had been delivered to Egypt, which has acted as mediator between Israel and the Gaza-based terrorist organization.

Israel's army said the rocket was fired by Hamas, the Islamist terror group that runs the Gaza Strip, from the Rafah area in the south of the enclave.

It hit a house located in the community of Mishmeret in central Israel, about 50 miles from the Gaza Strip and 75 miles from Rafah. Rocket fire from Gaza at that distance is rare.

In response to the rocket fire, Israeli premier Binyamin Netanyahu decided to cut short his visit to the US, cancelling a planned address at the annual AIPAC conference in Washington DC.

In addition, the IDF announced that it was increasing its presence on the Gaza front following the rocket launch.