Gaza rocket strikes Ashkelon area as tension runs high in southern Israel

The Ashkelon skyline. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in an open area in the Ashkelon region of southern Israel late Sunday night.

Rocket warning alerts did not sound, as Israel Defense Forces radars quickly determined that the rocket was on a trajectory toward an uninhabited area. No injuries or damage were reported. The incident came two days after a rocket exploded near a home in Sderot, causing property damage, and another was intercepted over Ashkelon by the Iron Dome anti-rocket system.

The rocket that struck Sderot was the first to hit a residential neighborhood in Israel since Operation Protective Edge ended in August 2014. 

In response to Friday’s rocket fire, the Israeli Air Force struck three terrorist infrastructure sites in Gaza. In a statement, the Israeli military said it would not tolerate any rocket fire from Gaza and that it held the Hamas terrorist group responsible for all violence emanating from the coastal enclave.

A Salafi terrorist group, the Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade, took responsibility for Friday’s rocket fire. On Sunday, the Israeli military deployed Iron Dome batteries near Sderot and Netivot. Last week, an Iron Dome battery was deployed in the Ashdod area.

Posted on September 21, 2015 .