Gaza rocket aimed at Modi’in to ‘avenge’ Palestinian deaths hits West Bank town

Errant projectile lands in Palestinian town of Azzun after sirens sound in settlements; Hamas says attack was revenge for 9 West Bank Palestinians killed in Friday clashes with IDF

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Palestinians inspect the damage caused to a building in the West Bank town of Azzun, after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip impacts nearby, on May 15, 2021 (Screenshot: Twitter)
Palestinians inspect the damage caused to a building in the West Bank town of Azzun, after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip impacts nearby, on May 15, 2021 (Screenshot: Twitter)

A rocket hit a Palestinian town in the West Bank on Saturday during a barrage fired at central Israel.

The projectile struck close to the town of Azzun, causing damage but no injuries.

The military wing of Hamas said that the rocket was aimed at the central Israeli city of Modi’in to avenge the deaths of Palestinians killed in clashes with the Israel Defense Forces on Friday.

“The Al-Qassam Brigades bombed Modi’in, west of Ramallah, for the souls of the martyrs of the occupied West Bank and in revenge of their blood,” the terror group announced.

At least nine West Bank Palestinians were killed by Israeli live fire during violent clashes with the IDF on Friday, the Palestinian Authority health ministry said. According to the IDF, some 3,000 Palestinians participated in the riots. The IDF said live fire had been used at some of the sites, including to target “main rioters.”

Massive rocket barrages were fired by terrorists in the Gaza Strip toward central Israel on Saturday afternoon. In Ramat Gan, a man in his 50s was killed when a rocket struck near his home.

Sirens had sounded in central coastal towns, as well as in the West Bank settlements of Megadlim, Eli, Kfar Tapuach, Rechelim, and others.

Other rockets from the barrage landed near Palestinian towns north of Ramallah, Ynet reported.

Additionally, a rocket landed in the central Israel city of Taibe, where some Arab residents were seen celebrating the strike in footage that circulated online.

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have fired over 2,300 rockets toward Israel since the outbreak of fighting on Monday, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The Iron Dome missile defense system in operation against rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, May 15, 2021 (Avi Roccah/Flash90)

Ten Israelis, including a young child, have been killed in the rocket fire, and hundreds have been injured.

In Gaza, the toll from the fighting climbed to 139 on Saturday, including dozens of children, with over 1,000 wounded, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

The Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups have confirmed 20 deaths in their ranks, though Israel says that number is much higher and that dozens of those killed were terrorists. In addition, the IDF says some deaths were caused by errant rockets fired at Israel which fell short of their targets and landed in the Strip.

Aaron Boxerman contributed to this report.

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