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Hours after Biden visit Israel strikes Gaza in response to rocket fire

Israel Defense Forces said its jets had hit an “underground complex used to produce rockets” in the Gaza Strip.
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Hours after President Joe Biden ended a three-day visit to the region, Israel's military said Saturday that it had attacked what it said was a Hamas military site in the Gaza Strip in response to a pair of rocket attacks.

“In response to the attacks from the Gaza Strip on Israeli territory, the IDF is continuing to target Hamas weapons manufacturing sites in the Gaza Strip,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

One of the rockets was intercepted while the others landed in open areas, it said, adding that IDF jets had hit an “underground complex used to produce rockets” in the Gaza Strip.

Footage released by the IDF showed an explosion and plumes of smoke billowing over the attack site.

NBC News has not been able to independently verify the IDF's claims.

Separate pictures taken after the strikes showed fires in Gaza City.

Two rocket attacks several hours apart set off air raid sirens in parts of southern Israel, but caused no injuries or damage, according to the Associated Press.

No Palestinian group claimed the rocket fire, but Israel blames Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza strip for the last 15 years, for any violence emanating from the Palestinian enclave.

The violence erupted hours after Biden reaffirmed his support for a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians during a visit to the West Bank where he sat down with Palestinian leaders frustrated over lingering Trump-era policies.

“The Palestinian people, as well as Israeli people, deserve a state of their own that is independent, sovereign, viable and contiguous,” he told reporters following a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

“Two states for two people, both of whom have deep and ancient roots in this land, living side by side in peace and security, both states fully respecting the equal rights of the other citizens.”

However, Biden admitted that the time was not ripe for peace talks.

Hamas dismissed Biden's expressions of sympathy for the Palestinians, calling the U.S. “a partner in the aggression on our people.”

Hamas does not recognize Israel and as such does not take part in negotiations about the region's future. Since taking over Gaza by force in 2007, the militant group and Israel have fought four wars and numerous rounds of cross-border violence.