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Two rockets fired from Gaza at Ashkelon, one intercepted; no injuries

Third attack in a week comes days after military uncovered what it called a Hamas attack tunnel inside Israeli territory

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at the city of Ashkelon and nearby communities north of the Gaza Strip on Thursday night, the military said, the second attack in days following months of relative quiet along the border.

The Israel Defense Forces said one projectile was intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system. The second projectile appeared to land in an open field. No injuries or damage were reported.

The attack triggered sirens throughout Ashkelon and in several communities south of the city.

Video footage apparently showed the interception by the Iron Dome missile defense system over Ashkelon.

The attack came two days after a single rocket was fired at Israel, drawing a reprisal raid. A Gazan rocket was also fired at Israel on Friday.

Tuesday’s rocket attack occurred hours after the military announced uncovering what it said was a Hamas attack tunnel inside Israeli territory that had been dug from the Gaza Strip.

The so-called “terror tunnel” had been constructed from the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis toward the Israeli community of Kibbutz Kissufim.

Though the tunnel penetrated dozens of meters into Israeli territory, it remained on the Gaza side of the underground concrete barrier around the Strip. IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman said the sensor-studded barrier, which is due to be completed in the coming months, first identified an anomaly on Monday and military engineers confirmed that it was in fact a tunnel the following day.

The military said Wednesday night it had determined that Hamas was behind the tunnel based on the manner in which it was constructed. It did not offer any details.

There was no immediate comment from Hamas.

The military said the tunnel did not pose a threat to communities in the area.

Reports have proliferated in Hebrew media in recent weeks that Qatar is close to reaching a deal to resume supplying tens of millions of dollars in monthly cash transfers to Gaza, meant to help keep a lid on internal pressures.

Alex Fulbright and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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