Iron Dome intercepts 2 rockets fired from Gaza as 3rd falls in Israeli territory

Warning sirens activated in border region, sending frightened residents running to shelters as missile strikes Shaar Hanegev region

The damage cause by a mortar shell fired from the Gaza Strip that landed at the entrance to a building in the Shaar Hanegev region, December 29, 2017. (Israel Police)
The damage cause by a mortar shell fired from the Gaza Strip that landed at the entrance to a building in the Shaar Hanegev region, December 29, 2017. (Israel Police)

Three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip Friday, the army said, in the first such incident in over a week.

Two of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, while the third fell in Israeli territory in the Shaar Hanegev region, on the Gaza border.

Police said they found the rocket at the entrance to a building that had sustained damaged from the fall.

Rocket warning sirens were heard shortly before midday in the Shaar Hanegev and Sedot Hanegev regions, sending frightened residents running to shelters.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The rockets were the first fired from Gaza since December 18, which followed two weeks of numerous attacks, the largest incidence of rocket fire from the Strip since the 2014 Israel-Hamas war.

According to Israeli assessments, these rockets are not being launched by Hamas, but by other terrorist groups in the Strip. However, analysts have noted that Hamas was either unwilling or unable to clamp down on the groups.

Illustrative: The trail of a missile launched by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, on August 22, 2014, from the southern Israeli border with the Gaza Strip. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

On December 19, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said he believed that the rocket fire by Gaza-based terrorist groups was over, referring to the attacks as the “price” Israel had to pay for US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“The ‘drizzle'” — the slang term for sporadic rocket attacks — “is not continuing. We’ve already had one day of total quiet,” Liberman said, following a meeting with the heads of mayors and regional council leaders from the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip.

Protesting Trump’s December 6 declaration that Jerusalem is the Israeli capital, terror group Hamas, which runs Gaza and seeks Israel’s destruction, called for a new intifada and vowed to liberate Jerusalem.

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