IDF tank- Emil Salman
An IDF tank Photo by Emil Salman
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Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi revealed on Tuesday that an anti-tank missile was fired more than two weeks ago at an Israeli tank on the Gaza border and penetrated its outer shell.

"On December 6, a Kornet rocket was fired for the first time and hit an IDF tank and penetrated its outer shell," Ashkenazi told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, saying that the Kornet missile penetrated the tank exterior shell but failed to detonate inside it.-

"It is a heavy missile and one of the most dangerous in the region, which was also fired toward the IDF during the Lebanon War," Ashkenazi added.

"We hold the Hamas as the party responsible in the Gaza Strip," Ashkenazi said, holding the militant group which took over the coastal enclave in a bloody coup in 2007 as responsible for firing the anti-tank missile.

Ashkenazi also stressed that Israel's advanced anti-rocket system, the Iron Dome that has been in development and backed by United States funding, was not a "foolproof solution" to rocket fire from Gaza.

Ashkenazi spoke shortly after a Qassam rocket struck the Ashkelon area, exploding in an open field near a kindergarten and lightly wounding a teenage girl in a nearby building.

Responsibility for Tuesday's rocket attack was claimed by a group calling itself the Army of Islam, which has the same "global jihad" ideology as the Al- Qaida movement. It said it was responding "to the massacres committed by the Zionist enemy."

Some 40 rockets and mortars have struck the western Negev over the last week.

The Israel Air Force carried out a series of air strikes in the Gaza Strip overnight Tuesday in response to the increasing number of attacks emanating from Gaza.