JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Israeli military said on Thursday that two rockets launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip fell short inside the Palestinian enclave.
Sirens sounded in Israel at various locations around the northern Gaza Strip on a day of heightened tensions following demonstrations in the coastal enclave and the occupied West Bank in which Palestinians protested at U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement on Wednesday that he was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.
“Following the sirens that sounded in Hof Ashkelon and Sha’ar HaNegev regional councils in southern Israel earlier this evening, two launches from the Gaza Strip toward Israel were identified. No hits were confirmed in Israeli territory. Hits were confirmed within the Gaza Strip,” an army statement said.
A Jihadist Salafi group in Gaza called the Al-Tawheed Brigades – which does not heed the call from the enclave’s dominant force, Hamas, to desist from firing rockets – claimed responsibility for the launches.
Israel usually says it holds Hamas responsible for all rocket fire that emanates from the Gaza Strip and often responds swiftly with air strikes and tank fire to sporadic militant rocket and mortar shell launchings from the territory.
During the Gaza war in 2014, Israel’s Iron Dome rocket interceptor system largely protected the country’s heartland from thousands of rocket barrages fired by militants.