IDF: Projectile fired from Gaza at Israel; no reports of injuries or damage
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IDF: Projectile fired from Gaza at Israel; no reports of injuries or damage

Sirens only triggered in open fields, unpopulated areas in south

Illustrative: Rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel, November 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Illustrative: Rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel, November 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

A projectile was fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel on Tuesday night, the army said.

The military said it had detected a launch from the Palestinian enclave. Sirens were only triggered in fields and unpopulated areas, where it was heading, the army added.

There were no reports of injuries or damage.

The military did not specify whether the projectile was a rocket or mortar shell, or confirm it struck Israeli territory.

The latest incident came amid near-daily rocket and mortar fire at Israel by Palestinian terror groups since late January. Terrorists in the Strip have also launched dozens of balloon-borne explosive devices into southern Israel from Gaza.

In response to the rocket attacks, all of which have struck open fields in southern Israel, the Israel Defense Forces has conducted numerous strikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli defense officials believe that the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group is trying to increase pressure on Israel in a bid to extract greater concessions in ongoing ceasefire negotiations.

Palestinian men prepare an incendiary device to be flown toward Israel, near the Israel-Gaza border east of Al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, January 22, 2020. (Ali Ahmed/Flash90)

Fears have also mounted in recent days of an escalation of violence in Gaza and the West Bank following the release on January 28 of a US peace plan that is seen as heavily favoring Israel and which Palestinian leaders have rejected.

On Sunday, Israeli politicians threatened a harsh military response if attacks from the Gaza Strip continued.

“I want to make this clear: We won’t accept any aggression from Gaza. Just a few weeks ago, we took out the top commander of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and I suggest that Islamic Jihad and Hamas refresh their memories,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem on Sunday.

“I won’t lay out in detail all our actions and plans in the media, but we’re prepared for crushing action against the terror groups in Gaza. Our actions are powerful, and they’re not finished yet, to put it mildly,” Netanyahu said.

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett similarly issued a warning to Hamas leaders in Gaza, warning that Israel would take “lethal action against them” if their “irresponsible behavior” didn’t cease.

“We won’t announce when or where. This action will be very different from those taken in the past. No one will be immune. Hamas faces a choice: choose life and economic prosperity, or choose terror and pay an unbearable price. Their actions will determine [which it will be],” he said.

On Tuesday, the al-Quds daily reported that factions in Gaza decided to halt the launching of balloon-borne explosive devices into Israel.

The al-Quds report came less than a day after an Egyptian security delegation concluded a visit to Gaza, where it met Hamas terror group officials and toured the border region between the coastal enclave and Egypt.

The past several weeks have also seen a marked uptick in the launch of balloon-borne explosive devices from Gaza into Israel, including one apparent such device found close to a kindergarten in a border community last Tuesday.

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