ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Video shows Palestinians attempting to launch crude rockets in northern West Bank

Group that claimed similar attempt last month releases clip showing rockets being fired in Jenin area; IDF says projectiles landed short in Palestinian-controlled territory

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

A clip published by the so-called Al-Ayyash Battalion purports to show a rocket launched from a northern West Bank village at a nearby Israeli settlement, June 26, 2023. (Screengrab: Telegram)
A clip published by the so-called Al-Ayyash Battalion purports to show a rocket launched from a northern West Bank village at a nearby Israeli settlement, June 26, 2023. (Screengrab: Telegram)

Palestinians in the northern West Bank attempted to launch two homemade rockets at Israeli towns, footage published Monday showed.

The Israel Defense Forces said the rockets landed in Palestinian-controlled territory in the northern West Bank and did not cross the border into Israel. One managed to fly some 80 meters distance, while the second mostly failed and traveled only five meters, the IDF said.

“The rockets did not pose a threat to the civilians in the area at any stage,” the IDF said.

No injuries or damage were caused.

The footage was published on Telegram by a group calling itself the Al-Ayyash Battalion, apparently named for a notorious Hamas bombmaker killed by Israel.

The group released similar footage in late May, and the IDF said at the time that troops had located the rocket launcher several hours later in the village of Nazlet Zeid, west of Jenin and close to the settlement of Shaked.

The clip published Monday showed two rockets before they were launched, with a note taped to one of them threatening larger attacks in the future.

The video showed the first rocket flying into the air, then spiraling out of control, and the second seemingly failing to properly launch.

The military said forces reached the scene of the launch near the West Bank city of Jenin and began searching for the suspects.

The two rockets were located by the forces, and according to the IDF, they were still intact and their payloads did not contain any explosives.

“These were makeshift rockets with very limited capabilities,” the army said.

Earlier last month, Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar said security forces had foiled attempts by Palestinians in the northern West Bank to manufacture rockets to be launched at Israel.

Bar said the efforts were led by a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader, who was killed by Israel in the Gaza Strip during a five-day flareup in violence.

“In recent weeks, [the cell] had begun producing rockets and launchers” to fire at Israel, Bar said on May 9, calling it “a dangerous precedent.”

The Shin Bet chief said members of the cell were arrested by Israel and had since confessed. “We don’t intend to let Afula… become a target for [rocket] fire,” he said, referring to a northern Israeli city.

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