Two days after Israel’s elections, the results pointing to a right-wing government to be built by the Likud party’s Benjamin Netanyahu, forces in Gaza fired a salvo of rockets into Israel, with rocket-warning sirens blaring in several Israeli towns.
An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson reported that the Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted at least one rocket launched from Hamas-ruled Gaza towards Israel; the rocket exploded in mid-air, with debris falling in an open field.
There were no reports of injuries or damage to property from the attempted attack on Israel, but the residents of Nirim, Ein HaShlosha and Kissufim – three Israeli towns four to five kilometers from Gaza – were compelled to run for cover.
Rocket-warning sirens did not sound in other Israeli cities, where the fired rockets or missiles traced trajectories toward uninhabited areas.
The Gazan attackers fired three additional rockets toward the Jewish state, which failed to reach Israeli territory, exploding within the Strip.
It is believed that the attack was a response to the killing of senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Farouk Salameh in Jenin earlier on Thursday, when the wanted terrorist resisted arrest and a gun battle broke out.
The IDF and the Israel Border Police issued a joint statement saying that Salameh was involved in the killing of veteran police officer Noam Raz on May 15, and had been planning further attacks.
No terror group in Gaza has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s rocket attacks. In the past, Israel has responded with surgical airstrikes against Hamas military sites regardless of the group launching the attack. More rarely, it has directed its response at Islamic Jihad if the terror group has claimed responsibility.
The last time rockets were fired from Gaza was in August, during a three-day battle between Israel and the Islamic Jihad that saw some 1,175 rockets fired indiscriminately upon Israel.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.