A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a street in the city of Sderot in southern Israel on Wednesday morning, police said.
Three people who “suffered anxiety attacks” were treated by medical teams, but no one was physically hurt by the attack, according to the Magen David Adom medical service.
The three — including a 15-year-old girl and 60-year-old man — were taken to Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center for further care, MDA paramedic Oren Benita said.
Israel Defense Forces tanks responded to the rocket attack with strikes against Hamas sites in the northern Gaza Strip, the army said.
The Islamic State-affiliated Ahfad al-Sahaba-Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis terrorist group took responsibility for the rocket launch in statements released in both Arabic and Hebrew.
“Oh you cowardly Jews: You don’t have safety in our land. [Former defense minister Moshe] Ya’alon, the failure at giving security. [Defense Minister Avigdor] Liberman to fail will be a certainty,” the salafist group said in its statement, in poorly translated Hebrew.
The attack against Israel was apparently a response to the Strip’s Hamas rulers arresting several members of the Salafist organization, according to the group’s statement.
The rocket alert siren was activated at approximately 10:20 a.m. and was heard in Sderot, Nir Am, Ivim and Gevim.
A few minutes later, Israel Police officers located the rocket in Sderot. The road was damaged in the attack, as were several nearby cars and homes.
Police sappers were called to the scene, and the area was closed off to pedestrians and traffic, police said.
Last month, a mortar shell was launched from the Gaza Strip and landed in a field in southern Israel, causing neither injury nor damage, the army said. The projectile hit an empty field in the Eshkol region, next to the southern Strip, according to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces.
Launches from Gaza are infrequent and usually carried out by small fringe groups without the approval of Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
Though Ahfad al-Sahaba-Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis took responsibility for the attack, Israel has said it holds Hamas responsible for any attacks emanating from Gaza and routinely responds to such launches with strikes inside the Palestinian territory.