Remains of rocket fired from West Bank found in northern Israeli town

Exact date of launch toward Ram-On is unclear; military says projectile did not contain explosives; incident comes after unsuccessful launch attempts in recent months

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

The remains of a rocket fired from the West Bank, found in the northern Israeli town of Ram-On, July 9, 2023. (Courtesy)
The remains of a rocket fired from the West Bank, found in the northern Israeli town of Ram-On, July 9, 2023. (Courtesy)

The remains of a makeshift rocket were found on Sunday evening in a town in northern Israel bordering the West Bank security barrier, the military and local officials said.

The Israel Defense Forces said a local security officer in Ram-On found the shrapnel. The local council said in a statement that the projectile was found in the town’s cemetery.

“After sappers examined the findings, it was determined that it was an old rocket,” the IDF said, adding that it did not contain any explosive material.

The exact date of launch was unclear.

On June 26, Palestinians in the Jenin area of the northern West Bank launched two rockets toward towns in Israel, one of which managed to travel only around 100 meters, landing short in Palestinian-controlled territory, according to the IDF.

The closest Palestinian town to Ram-On is Silat al-Harithiya, around two kilometers (1.2 miles) south, indicating terrorists in the northern West Bank possess the capability to launch rockets at further distances than initially assessed.

The attempted attack last month was claimed by a group calling itself the Al-Ayyash Battalion, apparently named for a notorious Hamas bombmaker killed by Israel. The group published a video on Telegram showing two crude rockets being launched. In May, the same group published a similar clip showing a makeshift projectile being fired.

Military sources have said there was a known suspect behind the attempts, and it was not linked to any known terror group.

During a major IDF raid in the West Bank city of Jenin last week, 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 last month.

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