Salafists claim rocket attack on Israel’s south

Projectile landed near border fence with Gaza Strip, two more missiles said to fall short; IDF scouring area for impact site

Illustrative. A rocket is fired at Israel from Gaza on August 9, 2014. (AP/Dusan Vranic)
Illustrative. A rocket is fired at Israel from Gaza on August 9, 2014. (AP/Dusan Vranic)

A Salafi terrorist organization affiliated with the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip into Israel Friday afternoon.

The group said it fired the rocket, which landed in open territory north of the Kissufim crossing with the Palestinian enclave in southern Israel, in response to the Jewish state’s “attacks against the Al-Aqsa Mosque” in East Jerusalem, according to AFP.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. IDF forces were scanning the area to locate the precise impact site.

Two more rockets were also launched in the volley, landing on the Gazan side, according to Hebrew media reports.

“A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel,” a statement from the Israeli army said after the launch early Friday afternoon. “No injuries reported.”

Army Radio quoted security officials as saying the rocket was probably made by poorly skilled technicians and launched by a terrorist group with capabilities inferior to those of Gaza-based Hamas, which rules the Strip.

On Thursday night, two rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip falling short of the border and landing in the Palestinian enclave.

Sporadic rocket fire over the past several months has frequently been attributed to struggles inside Gaza between Hamas and Salafist groups that oppose Hamas rule.

The official policy of the Israel Defense Forces is to retaliate to attacks, maintaining that it holds Hamas responsible for all rocket fire from the Strip. Misfired rockets landing on the Gaza side of the fence do not generally elicit an Israeli response.

On August 1, two rockets fell near the Israel-Gaza border fence. No warning sirens were heard and the military was initially unsure whether the projectiles struck the Israeli or Gazan side of the border.

JTA contributed to this report

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