Rocket fired from Gaza, intercepted over southern border communities – IDF
Sirens sound in Kissufim and Ein HaShlosha; local authorities say no injuries reported; PM and top defense officials meeting on possible response
Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.
A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip on Monday evening was intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, the military said.
Incoming rocket sirens sounded in the towns of Kissufim and Ein HaShlosha, near the border with the Strip.
The Eshkol regional council and the Magen David Adom ambulance service said there were no reports of injuries following the rocket attack. Local residents were told to stay in sealed rooms amid concerns over more potential attacks. The regional council later said there was no change in instructions for residents.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and military chief Aviv Kohavi were slated to hold a meeting later Monday to discuss a potential response to the rocket attack, according to Hebrew-language media reports.
A video posted to social media purported to show the moment the rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome.
The rocket fire came amid escalating Israeli-Palestinian tensions, following clashes and violence in the Old City of Jerusalem, a series of deadly Palestinian terror attacks, and stepped up IDF activity against terror groups in the West Bank.
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There was no immediate claim by any of the Gaza-based terror groups for the rocket fire.
Palestinian sources cited by the Kan public broadcaster and the Ynet news site said the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was believed to be behind the attack.
Army Radio reported late Monday that Hamas, the terror group which rules Gaza, had conveyed a message via Egyptian mediators that it was not responsible for the rocket fire.
In the past, Israel has responded with airstrikes against Hamas sites regardless of the group launching the attack. More rarely, it has directed its response at Islamic Jihad, if the terror group claimed responsibility.
The last time rockets were fired from the coastal enclave toward Israel was on January 1, 2022. At the time, no sirens sounded as the two rockets landed in the sea off the coast of Tel Aviv. Still, the IDF responded with a series of airstrikes against Hamas targets.
On Sunday afternoon, sirens sounded in the town of Nahal Oz, in what the IDF said was a false alarm.
The last few days have seen violent clashes between Palestinian rioters and police on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, leading to the injury of dozens of Palestinians and several police officers.
Hamas and other Gaza-based terror groups have repeatedly invoked the flashpoint holy site as a red line. Police actions to quell riots there last year were among the triggers of an 11-day war in Gaza last May.