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Iron Dome intercepts as four rockets explode near Ashkelon

Israel’s UN envoy lodges complaint with Security Council over recent barrage of attacks from Gaza

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

An Iron Dome rocket interception battery. (photo credit: Edi Israel/Flash90)
An Iron Dome rocket interception battery. (photo credit: Edi Israel/Flash90)

At least four rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at the southern city of Ashkelon on Thursday evening as cross-border violence restarted after a day-long lull.

Three of the rockets exploded in open fields near the city, and one was shot down by the Iron Dome missile defense system. No damage or injuries were reported.

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On Thursday evening, IDF Chief of Staff Major General Benny Gantz said that these incidents are likely to continue. Speaking at a Defense Ministry event in Tel Aviv, Gantz said that “the challenges facing the IDF are like a spiral, constantly developing and changing.”

Earlier on Thursday, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor lodged a formal complaint with the Security Council and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about the rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip in recent days. He called on the international community to recognize Israel’s right to self defense.

“So long as there are no quiet towns in southern Israel, Gaza won’t be quiet either,” Prosor said. He also protested the fact that Israel’s compliance with UN demands to allow aid into Gaza is met with rocket fire.

Prosor reiterated his statements at the UN on his Twitter feed Thursday evening and lashed out against Hamas rearmament.

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Thursday evening’s rocket fire broke a lull since morning, following Hamas’s announcement Wednesday that it was prepared to cooperate with Egyptian efforts to end the current round of rocket fire into Israel provided that Israel also cease its air strikes on Gaza.

Despite the evening rocket fire, it was announced that schools in Ashkelon will be open on Friday.

In all, at least 10 rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Thursday. Since Monday, over 120 missiles have been fired into Israel, including more than 70 fired on Wednesday alone.

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