As rocket warning sirens go off at Gaza border, explosion reported inside Strip
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As rocket warning sirens go off at Gaza border, explosion reported inside Strip

No immediate reports of injuries or damage on either side of the fence in incident that occurred just after midnight

Illustrative: A trail of smoke from a rocket as it was launched from the Gaza Strip toward the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, August 24, 2014. (Edi Israel/Flash90/File)
Illustrative: A trail of smoke from a rocket as it was launched from the Gaza Strip toward the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, August 24, 2014. (Edi Israel/Flash90/File)

Rocket warning sirens went off in Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip just after midnight Monday-Tuesday, with one rocket reportedly landing within the Hamas-controlled territory.

Residents of the Sha’ar Hanegev and Sdot Negev regional councils, where the sirens were heard, reported hearing at least on explosion shortly after midnight.

Palestinian sources said the rocket fell inside the Gaza Strip. It was not immediately clear if a further projectile had been fired into Israel.

There were no immediate reports of injuries of damage on either side of the border fence.

There had been a significant increase in rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza after US President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but January has seen a return to relative calm with the most recent rocket attack before Monday night occurring on the first of the month.

While welcomed in Israel, Trump’s declaration was met with anger by Palestinians, with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas saying the US was no longer an honest broker in peace talks and the Gaza-based terror group Hamas calling for an intifada, or violent uprising. Trump stressed his recognition wasn’t taking a position on the city’s boundaries.

A flurry of recent reports have warned that the enclave is on the verge of collapse, its 1.8 million inhabitants plagued by frequent electricity blackouts, undrinkable water and an outdated cellular network.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade on Gaza for a decade, since the Strip was taken over by the Hamas terror group in a bloody coup against the Palestinian Authority. Israel has fought three wars with the terror group since 2008, and insists the blockade is necessary to stop Hamas importing weapons and material used to construct terror tunnels and fortifications.

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