First Gaza rocket fired at Israel since May war

The launch set off sirens in the Israeli town of Sderot and surrounding areas

FILE PHOTO: An Israeli soldier keeps watch by an Iron Dome rocket interceptor battery deployed near central Gaza Strip, southern Israel October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

A rocket was fired on Monday from Gaza towards Israel, the country's military said, in the first such cross-border incident since the two sides fought an 11-day war in May.

"One rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. The Iron Dome aerial defence system intercepted the rocket," the Israeli military said.

The launch set off sirens in the Israeli town of Sderot, close to the Gaza border, and the surrounding areas. There were no reports of injuries.

A military representative told The National it was the first rocket fired at Israel from Gaza since a ceasefire came into effect on May 21.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket fire from Hamas, which rules Gaza, or other militant groups operating in the coastal Palestinian enclave.

It came hours after Israeli security forces killed four Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. Israeli police said undercover agents returned fire after being shot at during an attempted arrest in the northern Jenin area.

The Palestinian presidency, which is based in the West Bank city of Ramallah, condemned the killings as a "heinous crime".

Gaza has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007 and access to the enclave from Israel was all but impossible during most of the May conflict.

Over the past three months Israel has gradually eased some restrictions, most recently on Sunday when 1,350 Gazans were granted permission to cross the border for business purposes.

Since the ceasefire came into effect, Gaza militants have launched incendiary balloons over the border, which have set Israeli farmland ablaze. The Israeli military has responded with fighter jets, which it says hit Hamas infrastructure.

Updated: August 16th 2021, 7:28 PM
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