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Palestinians in Gaza fire rocket into Israel, no injuries

Thousands forced into bomb shelters during Friday evening Shabbat dinner; second rocket attack this month, just days after reported 6-month ceasefire agreement

The smoke trail of a rocket, fired by Palestinian terrorists, flying over the Gaza Strip, on February 23, 2020. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
Illustrative: The smoke trail of a rocket, fired by Palestinian terrorists, flying over the Gaza Strip, on February 23, 2020. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket into Israel on Friday evening, the IDF said. The projectile apparently exploded in an open field, with no reports of damage or injuries.

Rocket sirens were set off southern Israeli town of Netiv Ha’asara just north of the Gaza Strip, sending thousands in the vicinity to bomb shelters for the second time this month.

In an unusual move, there were no reports of retaliatory strikes on targets in Gaza.

It was the first rocket attack since October 5, when another single rocket was fired, without causing casualties or damage. In response, Israeli aircraft struck a Hamas military installation in the southern Gaza Strip in retaliation.

Prior to that, the last cross-border rocket attack — after which Israel retaliated with air raids — came on September 15 and coincided with the signing in Washington of normalization deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Smoke and flames are seen following an Israeli airstrike in the Khan Younis town of the southern Gaza Strip on September 16, 2020, following rocket fire on Israel. (SAID KHATIB/AFP)

During that barrage, 15 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel, one of which struck the city of Ashdod, injuring two people, one of them seriously. Most of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, the Israel Defense Forces said.

On Sunday, Channel 12 reported that Israel and Hamas had reached a truce agreement mediated by Qatar that will see quiet on the southern border for a period of six months.

In return, Qatar will transfer $100 million to Hamas in a deal coordinated with Doha by Mossad head Yossi Cohen alongside the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), according to the report.

Mohammad al-Emadi, Qatar’s envoy to Gaza, has regularly visited Gaza in recent years with Israeli approval, bringing funds to the Strip for purchasing fuel, paying civil servants and helping Gaza’s poor. The most recent set of funding was set to run out within weeks, Channel 12 reported.

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