Rocket fired from Gaza after week of relative calm
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Rocket fired from Gaza after week of relative calm

IDF fires Iron Dome interceptor but apparently misses target, which falls in open area of southern Israel; residents rush to bomb shelters after alarms sound

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Illustrative: Israeli children run to a bomb shelter during a Color Red alarm warning of incoming rockets from the Gaza Strip, January 8, 2009. (Anna Kaplan/ Flash90/File)
Illustrative: Israeli children run to a bomb shelter during a Color Red alarm warning of incoming rockets from the Gaza Strip, January 8, 2009. (Anna Kaplan/ Flash90/File)

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired a single missile into Israel from the Gaza Strip late Wednesday night, the army said, with the projectile apparently falling in an open field despite after a failed interception attempt. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The rocket fire sent thousands of residents rushing to bomb shelters and ended a week-long stretch of relative calm in the Gaza Strip.

The IDF said it had identified a single launch from the Strip toward Israel and “an interceptor was fired at it.”

However, the missile apparently missed its target, Israel Radio reported and the rocket from Gaza landed in an open field in southern Israel.

Residents of the area reported hearing the sounds of explosions following the sirens.

The Israeli military initially said it was investigating what triggered the sirens, which sounded in the communities of Urim and Patish in the central Negev.

An Eshkol region spokesperson said emergency response personnel were searching the area.

The alarms ended a relative calm that has persisted in the Gaza Strip region following a flareup between the Hamas terrorist group and Israel last Wednesday, which was sparked by a rocket launched from the coastal enclave that struck a home in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.

The rocket caused significant damage to the house, but no injuries as the mother inside rushed her three sons into their bomb shelter. A second rocket launched from the Gaza at the same time landed off the coast of the greater Tel Aviv area.

In response, the Israeli military launched a series of air raids against some 20 targets in the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad publicly condemned the rocket launches, leading to the suspicion that the projectiles had been fired accidentally.

Egypt and the United Nations brokered a de facto cease fire between Israel and Hamas. Though low-level clashes have persisted, the past week saw a significant decrease in the level of violence along the border.

As a result of the relative calm, Israel on Sunday reopened Gaza’s goods and pedestrian crossings, which had been closed following the rocket launches, and on Wednesday a shipment of Qatari-funded fuel was allowed into the coastal enclave.

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