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Rocket alert sirens activated in Israeli towns along border with Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces said that the alarms were set off by heavy gunfire within the Palestinian enclave.

Israelis rush to a bomb shelter in Ramla during a conflict with Hamas, May 15, 2021. Credit: Yossi Aloni/Flash90.
Israelis rush to a bomb shelter in Ramla during a conflict with Hamas, May 15, 2021. Credit: Yossi Aloni/Flash90.

Rocket alert sirens sounded Sunday evening in Israeli communities located close to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The Israel Defense Forces said that the alarms were set off by heavy gunfire within the Palestinian enclave and that no rockets were launched towards the Jewish state.

The military confirmed that the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system was not activated.

The Magen David Adom emergency medical service treated a woman in her 30s for anxiety in Sderot.

The events come after Israeli air defense systems downed an unmanned aerial vehicle over Gaza late on Saturday night. Residents of the Western Negev reported hearing a large explosion, and video footage circulating on social media appeared to show the Iron Dome air defense system launching an interceptor missile.

The IDF did not provide further information regarding the operators of the drone, and notably did not conduct retaliatory strikes against Hamas assets in the Gaza Strip, which has long been Jerusalem’s policy following rockets attacks and other violations of Israeli airspace.

The Israeli military conducted strikes in Gaza overnight Wednesday in response to a rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Cabinet voted on Sunday to establish a new community along the border with Gaza.

The future town, to be named Hanun, will be located in the Sdot Negev Region and eventually be inhabited by some 500 families.

“The establishment of the community is further evidence of the resilience of the [citizens living in the] ‘Gaza envelope’ and the power of the State of Israel. We’re proud to build up the Land of Israel and we’re proud to strengthen settlement in all parts of our land,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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