Palestinians in the northern West Bank attempted to launch a homemade rocket at a nearby Israeli settlement on Tuesday morning, the latest in a series of mostly unsuccessful attempts.
A group calling itself the Al-Ayyash Battalion — apparently named for a notorious Hamas bombmaker killed by Israel — said it had launched the rocket from the Jenin area at the West Bank settlement of Shaked.
A video published by the group on the Telegram messaging service showed a projectile mounted on a launcher. The clip did not show the launch.
Israeli forces reached the scene and discovered the projectile still on the launcher, apparently after it exploded and failed to launch. The rocket was seen heavily damaged, and the ground underneath it was charred.
In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces said sappers were inspecting the remains of the rocket, which would be later handed over to the Shin Bet security agency for further investigation.
“IDF soldiers are pursuing suspects,” the military added.
A group calling itself the Al-Ayyash Battalion claims to have launched a rocket from the northern West Bank toward the settlement of Shaked. No reports of damage. IDF checking the report. pic.twitter.com/ACbEQ2QJ8v
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) August 15, 2023
Al-Ayyash Battalion has claimed to have launched several rockets at settlements and towns in northern Israel in recent months, publishing footage of the attempts.
The group’s rocket launching attempts have largely failed, with the rockets containing no explosives and flying mostly distances of less than 100 meters (328 feet), according to the IDF. Though on July 9, security forces found the remains of a rocket in the Israeli town of Ram-On, close to the West Bank security barrier, indicating that terrorists in the Jenin area possess the capability to launch rockets for further distances than initially assessed.
Military sources have said there was a known suspect behind the attempts, not linked to any known terror group despite the apparent affiliation with Hamas.
During a major IDF raid in the West Bank city of Jenin in July, the military said troops located and seized a makeshift rocket, among other weapons.
In May, Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar said security forces had foiled attempts by Palestinians in the northern West Bank to manufacture rockets to be launched at Israel. Bar said the efforts were led by a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader who was killed by Israel in the Gaza Strip during a five-day flareup in violence that month.