Rocket from Gaza hits greenhouse in south; no injuries

Sirens didn’t sound as solitary rocket strikes open field in Ashkelon region, just hours after Iron Dome batteries deployed

Illustrative. A trail of smoke is seen as rockets launched from the Gaza Strip streak towards the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on August 24, 2014. (Edi Israel /Flash90/File)
Illustrative. A trail of smoke is seen as rockets launched from the Gaza Strip streak towards the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on August 24, 2014. (Edi Israel /Flash90/File)

A rocket was fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip early Monday morning, causing no injuries but damaging a greenhouse.

Air raid sirens weren’t activated because the projectile was bound for open fields in the Hof Ashkelon region, the IDF said.

Army search teams were dispatched to the area to find the missile.

“The rocket landed in the center of the greenhouse, and damaged the crops and equipment. It was a great miracle, because employees usually come during these hours to work,” Eran Dotan, the greenhouse owner, told the Hebrew-language news website Ynet. He said it is the second time that a rocket fired from Gaza has struck his greenhouses.

The missile appeared to be a solitary launch. It was the latest in a string of rocket attacks on southern Israel.

On Sunday, IDF deployed Iron Dome batteries in Sderot, two days after two rocket launches at southern Israel.

Conflicting reports said either one or two batteries were dispatched near the towns of Netivot and Sderot, days after a battery was also sent to Ashdod.

The anti-missile batteries should be able to protect the southern towns, just miles from the border of the Gaza Strip, from potential projectiles fired from the Palestinian enclave.

On Friday night a Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket at Sderot. There were no injuries reported in the attack, but there was some damage to property, and several people needed treatment for shock. Later Friday, Iron Dome intercepted a second rocket over Ashkelon.

A day earlier, the IDF deployed an Iron Dome near Ashdod, just north of Sderot, but out of the operational range for the missile defense battery.

A Palestinian Salafist group affiliated with the Islamic State took responsibility for the rocket attacks. The Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade has claimed a number of rocket attacks against Israel this year in defiance of Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

A bus was hit in the Sderot strike, and a home was also damaged. The residents were inside at the time of the strike, Ynet said, adding that several people were treated at the scene for shock. One woman was taken to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon after complaining of chest pains and ringing in her ears, the website reported.

Sderot’s mayor said Sunday that the site where the bus was damaged by rocket fire would be turned into a public park in defiance of the violence. Mayor Alon Davidi said in a statement that the park would serve “to demonstrate the victory of spirit of the Jewish people as a whole and of the residents of Sderot and the Gaza periphery in particular.”

The IDF retaliated to Friday’s rocket fire by striking a Hamas training camp in the northern Gaza Strip, inflicting damage but causing no reported injuries.

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