Iron Dome intercepts rocket launched from Gaza at southern Israel

Sirens sound in Kibbutz Nahal Oz; no damage or injuries reported in 2nd rocket attack this month

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

File: Rockets being fired by Islamic Jihad toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, on August 5, 2022. (Attia Muhammed/Flash90)
File: Rockets being fired by Islamic Jihad toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, on August 5, 2022. (Attia Muhammed/Flash90)

A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel on Saturday evening was intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, the military said.

Incoming rocket sirens sounded in the southern town of Kibbutz Nahal Oz.

Local residents said they heard a large explosion and saw an Iron Dome air defense system missile being launched.

The Israel Defense Forces said the single rocket was downed by the air defense system.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage following the attack.

The rocket fire came amid heightened tensions in the region.

The last time a rocket was fired from the coastal enclave toward Israel was on February 1, apparently in response to a crackdown by the Israel Prison Service (IPS) against Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails. Gazans then fired several more rockets toward southern Israel as Israeli Air Force warplanes carried out sorties in the Gaza Strip in response the next morning.

Tensions have been high as the IDF has pressed on with an anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank to deal with a series of attacks that have left 31 people in Israel dead in 2022, and another ten since the beginning of the year.

Three Israelis, including two brothers aged six and eight, were killed in a car-ramming attack Friday. National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir said he instructed police to prepare for a major operation in East Jerusalem starting Sunday following the attack.

The IDF’s operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids. It also left 171 Palestinians dead in 2022, and another 43 since the beginning of the year, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians.

There has also been a rise in revenge attacks by Israelis against Palestinians following the two terror attacks.

The military was expected to respond to the rocket attack on Saturday.

Most Popular
read more: