The Iron Dome defense system fires to intercept an incoming missiles from Gaza.
The Iron Dome defense system firing to intercept an incoming missiles from Gaza in the port town of Ashdod. Photo by AP
Text size

Two rockets were fired on Wednesday morning from the Gaza Strip, landing in open spaces in the Eshkol Regional Council, near the border fence. There were no casualties and no damage reported.

Rockets were also fired toward Israel last Friday, after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as well as on Sunday evening. There were no casualties or damage in both cases.

According to security sources in Israel, extreme Islamist factions in Gaza are behind the attacks, likely carried out without consulting Hamas. After the first incident on Friday, Hamas arrested some of those involved.

However, Israeli officials are worried about an escalation on Gaza's border, following some eight months of relative calm since the ceasefire that concluded Operation Pillar of Defense.

Still, it seems that at the moment, the Hamas leadership is more concerned about a potential conflict with Egypt's new leadership. Since the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi earlier this month, the Egyptian army has begun a military campaign against Islamist elements in northern Sinai. The military sealed off the tunnels used for smuggling and trade, which for six years served as a lifeline for the 1.7 million people living in Gaza.

According to reports inside Gaza, about 80 percent of the tunnels connecting Sinai and the Gaza Strip have been demolished or sealed, leading to losses of approximately 225 million dollars over the past month and a shortage in staple items, gasoline, cooking gas and construction materials.