Gaza rocket fired at south, intercepted, in first launch in over a month
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As Sderot inaugurates a drive-in movie theater

Gaza rocket fired at south, intercepted, in first launch in over a month

Sirens triggered in Sderot and surrounding communities; interceptor missile fragments damage car; attack comes as new head of IDF Gaza Division takes command

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

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)
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 Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a rocket that was fired from the Gaza Strip toward southern Israel on Sunday night, the Israel Defense Forces said.

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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