GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, on Sunday claimed responsibility for launching rockets from the Gaza Strip toward southern Israel.
The group, which has no connection to the local popular resistance committees that exist throughout the West Bank, said in a statement that its fighters fired four rockets toward Eshkol regional council, three rockets toward Sderot and three toward other Israeli towns.
The shelling is part of "our retaliation to the Israeli crimes against our Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the ongoing violations against prisoners," according to the statement.
The statement marks the first time a Palestinian faction claims responsibility for the upsurge in rockets launched from Gaza since Israel launched a massive military deployment across the West Bank in mid-June in pursuit of three missing Israeli teenagers.
The search has led to the deaths of seven Palestinians and the arrest of nearly 600, with more than 130 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli forces.
The Israeli military said earlier on Sunday that 25 rockets from Gaza had hit southern Israel in the last two weeks, hitting a home and a factory but causing no injuries.
Although Hamas and Israel have maintained a fragile ceasefire since Nov. 2012, other militant groups in the besieged Palestinian coastal enclave frequently launch rockets into Israel.
The majority of these attacks, which primarily involve homemade projectiles, land harmlessly in open areas across southern Israel.