For 2nd straight day, Gaza Palestinians fire at Israel
No injuries reported as mortar shell lands in open field in the southern Eshkol region; no immediate claim of responsibility
Raoul Wootliff is the Times of Israel's former political correspondent and producer of the Daily Briefing podcast.
A mortar shell fired from the Gaza Strip landed in an open area in southern Israel Thursday, the second such attack in as many days.
There were no injuries or damage reported from the shell, which landed in an open field in the southern Eshkol region causing no injuries, according to a statement from the IDF spokespersons department.
Troops were searching the area for remnants of the shell. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The incident came a day after a rocket fired from Gaza struck a street in the town of Sderot, causing some damage to nearby homes and cars but no injuries. Three people were hospitalized for anxiety following the strike.
Wednesday’s attack was claimed by the Islamic State-affiliated Ahfad al-Sahaba-Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis terrorist group, and was the second such rocket shot by the group to hit the city.
It was not immediately clear why the Iron Dome anti-missile system was not deployed to intercept Wednesday’s rocket.
The IDF responded to Wednesday’s rocket with a massive bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip targeting strategic Hamas positions in the north and south of the enclave.
While Hamas initially warned that it would not “sit idly by” if Israel continued airstrikes on its installations, the group reportedly sent a message to Israel calling for calm and saying the terrorist group was not interested in a further escalation of tensions.
Israel says it holds Hamas responsible for any attacks emanating from Gaza and routinely responds to such launches with strikes against Hamas targets.
Military spokesman Peter Lerner said Wednesday’s attack was “the direct result of Hamas’s terror agenda in the Gaza Strip that encourages deliberate attacks against Israeli civilians.”