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Rocket alert sirens sound in Israeli communities near Gaza border

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Rocket alert sirens sounded on Thursday in Israeli communities near the border with the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The alert came shortly after Israeli army radio reported unspecified Israeli military activity near the border with the Palestinian enclave.

Rocket attacks by Palestinian militants in the Hamas Islamist-run Gaza Strip have tailed off in recent weeks as Egypt has tried to mediate a long-term ceasefire with Israel.

But tensions have remained high along the Israel-Gaza border, where Palestinians have been mounting protests that have included attempts to breach a security fence.

Israeli forces have killed at least 195 Palestinians since the protests began in March, Gaza medics say, and one Israeli soldier has been killed.

Citing security reasons, Israel and Egypt maintain tight restrictions on their borders with Gaza, a policy that has deepened economic hardship in the territory of two million Palestinians.

(Writing by Jeffrey Heller, Editing by Maayan Lubell and Angus MacSwan)

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