4 rockets fired from Gaza; one intercepted, others fall short in Strip — IDF

Incident comes hours after Islamic Jihad commander killed in Israeli raid in Jenin, but no terror groups in Strip claim responsibility for attack, the first in 3 months

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

Illustrative: Rockets are launched toward Israel from Gaza City, controlled by the Palestinian Hamas terror group, on May 18, 2021. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
Illustrative: Rockets are launched toward Israel from Gaza City, controlled by the Palestinian Hamas terror group, on May 18, 2021. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Four rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip on Thursday evening, one of which was intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, the military said.

Shortly after 9 p.m., incoming rocket sirens sounded in the towns of Kissufim, Ein HaShlosha, and Nirim, near the Gaza border, as one rocket was launched from the Strip.

The Israel Defense Forces initially said it was not clear if the Iron Dome system successfully intercepted the incoming projectile, but in a later statement confirmed it had.

Medical officials said there were no reports of injuries following the rocket attack.

About an hour later, three more rockets were launched from Gaza at southern Israel, but fell short in the Strip, the military said.

Incoming rocket sirens did not sound in Israel as the rockets were expected to land in uninhabited areas, but an alert was activated near one northern Gaza border town on the Home Front Command mobile application.

The rocket fire came hours after a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad was killed during an Israeli military operation in the West Bank city of Jenin. The Gaza-based PIJ identified Farouk Salameh as a “commander” in the terror group.

In a joint statement, the IDF and Border Police said Salameh was involved in the killing of a veteran police commando earlier this year, and had been planning further attacks.

Still, there was no immediate claim by any of the Gaza-based terror groups 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 during a three-day battle against Islamic Jihad in August, during which it launched some 1,175 rockets.

Tensions have soared in the West Bank recently as the IDF pressed on with an anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank. It has netted more than 2,000 arrests in near-nightly raids.

It has also left over 125 Palestinians dead, many of them — but not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

The IDF’s anti-terror offensive in the West Bank was launched following a series of Palestinian attacks that killed 19 people earlier this year.

An Israeli man was killed in an attack in Hebron on Saturday, another woman was killed in a suspected attack in September, and four soldiers have been killed in the West Bank in attacks and during the arrest operations.

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