A Syrian missile landed near the city of Dimona – close toIsrael's secret nuclear reactor – early Thursday morning, triggering sirens in the area and resulting in an impact heard around the country.
The Israel Defense Forces said the nuclear reactor was not a target.
“There was no intention of hitting the nuclear reactor in Dimona,” IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman said.
The projectile appeared to be a surface-to-air missile that weighed several thousand kilograms with a 200-kilogram warhead, Zilberman said.
Israel frequently launches attacks on Iranian targets in Syria. This exchange of fire, however, comes after an attack at Iran's Natanz nuclear facility on April 11, which Iran blamed on Israel and one analyst said called for “eye-for-an-eye” revenge.
Sadollah Zarei, an Iranian analyst, suggested on Saturday that action should be taken “against the nuclear facility in Dimona.”
“This is because no other action is at the same level as the Natanz incident,” he wrote.
The IDF sent out an alert at 1:05 a.m.: “A launch was detected of a surface-to-air missile from Syrian territory toward Israeli territory, which fell in the Negev region. In response, the IDF attacked the battery that shot the rocket and additional air-to-surface batteries in Syrian territory.”
Syria claims the exchange of missiles started with an aerial assault by Israel on targets in Damascus. But the Syrian surface-to-air missile launched at the aircraft went astray and landed deep into Israeli territory, all the way to the Negev Desert, some 300 kilometers (185 miles) south of Damascus.
No one was hurt, according to official reports, and parts of the missile were found in a pool in the town of Ashalim.
From as far away as Jerusalem, Israelis reported feeling the impact and hearing a loud explosion.
Earlier this month, the United States opened talks with Iran with the intention of reentering the nuclear deal with Tehran, which the former administration had left, instead opting to place heavy economic sanctions on the regime.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.