Six rockets fired from Gaza toward southern Israel in apparent reprisal

Iron Dome downs most missiles; video appears to show several projectiles being shot out of Palestinian enclave, in possible response to IDF raid in Nablus that left 11 dead

Rockets are seen launched from the Gaza Strip toward Ashkelon in southern Israel, early February 22, 2023. (Dadi Fold/Courtesy)
Rockets are seen launched from the Gaza Strip toward Ashkelon in southern Israel, early February 22, 2023. (Dadi Fold/Courtesy)

Sirens sounded in southern Israel as half a dozen rockets screamed out of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said early Thursday morning, a day after a raid in Nablus killed 11 Palestinians and sparked calls for revenge.

Five of the missiles were downed by the Iron Dome anti-missile system and the last projectile landed in an open area, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement just before 4:30 a.m.

There were no reports of damage or casualties. No Palestinian group claimed responsibility.

Earlier, alarms blared in Ashkelon, Sderot and other areas near the Gaza Strip border, the army said.

Video posted on social media appeared to show the volley being fired out of Gaza, and interceptions over Israeli cities, including Ashkelon.

Explosions were heard in the area, according to local residents.

The apparent attack came on the heels of a gunbattle in the West Bank city of Nablus Wednesday in which 11 Palestinians were killed and over 100 injured by Israeli forces.

Palestinian terror groups said at least six of those killed were their operatives. It was not immediately clear whether the remaining five were involved in the clashes or not.

Police earlier raised their alert level amid fears of a reprisal attack, and a spokesman of the Gaza Strip-ruling Hamas’s military wing issued a veiled threat, saying the terror group was “observing the enemy’s escalating crimes against our people in the occupied West Bank, and its patience is running out.”

Islamic Jihad leader Ziyad Al-Nakhala called the Israeli raid a “huge crime.”

“It is our duty as resistance forces to respond to this crime without hesitation,” he said.

Over the past year, Gaza-based groups — notably Islamic Jihad — have launched rockets at Israel in response to members being killed or arrested in the West Bank. A potential response from the West Bank or East Jerusalem was also being anticipated.

The IDF said troops had entered Nablus on Wednesday morning to arrest Hussam Isleem, a senior member of the Lion’s Den terror group, who was allegedly the third member of a cell that killed Staff Sgt. Ido Baruch during a shooting attack in October. The other two were detained last week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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