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Israel retaliates to Gaza fire after Sharon burial

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January 13, 2014 12:17 PM EST | AP

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JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli air force retaliated to Palestinian rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on Monday, hitting sites used by militants after rockets were fired from the territory near the end of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's funeral.

The location in southern Israel where Sharon was later buried is within range of rockets from the Palestinian territory, and rockets have hit the area in the past. Israeli police said they exploded about 10 kilometers away from the ceremony.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said "The Terrorists and their infrastructure operating in the Gaza Strip will not succeed in their grotesque intentions. The IDF will seek them out, eliminate their capabilities and pursue them wherever they may hide," he said.

In Gaza, a security official said training sites used by militants from Islamic Jihad and Hamas were hit. Some damage was caused but no injuries were reported, the official said, speaking anonymously as he is not allowed to speak with the media.

Israeli media reported that the Iron Dome anti-missile system was deployed near Sharon's ranch in southern Israel to protect against rockets during the funeral. The military declined to comment.

Hundreds of Israeli VIPs and international dignitaries, including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, attended the state memorial ceremony for Sharon, who died Saturday after a stroke left him in a coma for the last eight years. He was 85.

A convoy with Sharon's casket left the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem and drove toward the site of a 1948 battle in which he was wounded. From there, it traveled to Sharon's private desert ranch for burial.

Palestinian militants in Gaza fired two other rockets toward Israel a few hours before the funeral the military said, but they did not explode inside Israel.