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After rocket attack, Israel hits ‘underground’ Hamas targets in Gaza

Iron Dome intercepts rocket as sirens triggered in Sderot and surrounding communities; interceptor missile fragments damage car

Illustrative: A ball of fire is seen following an Israeli airstrike on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip early on August 3, 2020. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)
Illustrative: A ball of fire is seen following an Israeli airstrike on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip early on August 3, 2020. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

Israeli warplanes hit several Hamas sites in central and southern Gaza Strip early Monday, the Israel Defense Forces said, hours after Palestinians fired a rocket into Israel from the coastal enclave.

The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted the rocket, the IDF said.

The army said warplanes hit an cement factory used in the construction of underground infrastructure and “underground facilities used by the Hamas terror group.”

The Hamas-linked al-Resalah news said that the IDF bombed “a resistance site” west of Khan Younis and agricultural land to the east of the town.

It also said that three missiles were fired at “a site affiliated with the resistance,” west of Rafah.

A piece of shrapnel from an Iron Dome interceptor missile hit the back windshield of a car in the southern town of Sderot on August 2, 2020. (Oranit Pahima)

The rocket triggered sirens in Israeli communities northeast of the Gaza Strip, sending tens of thousands of residents to bomb shelters.

“One [rocket] launch was detected from the territory of the Gaza Strip toward Israel, which was intercepted by aerial defense soldiers,” the military said.

A fragment of the Iron Dome interceptor missile apparently struck a vehicle in the southern town of Sderot, shattering the back windshield.

The sirens were heard in Sderot, as well as the smaller communities of Ibim, Erez, Or Haner and Nir Am in the Sha’ar Hanegev region.

Residents of the area reported hearing the sounds of explosions.

The attack came as Sderot inaugurated a new drive-in movie theater, with dozens of cars full of people watching the maiden film.

The attack also occurred shortly after Brig. Gen. Nimrod Aloni took over as head of the IDF Gaza Division. In a ceremony at the division headquarters in Reim, Aloni took over the position from Brig. Gen. Eliezer Toledano, who has served in the role since 2018.

It was the first time that rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip in nearly a month.

On July 5, terrorists in the enclave fired three rockets into southern Israel. In response, the IDF bombed a number of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

The normally restive Gaza border region has seen months of calm since a flareup of violence in February, amid reported intensive efforts to reach a long-term truce deal between Israel and Hamas.

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