Hours After Peace Talks Renewed, Gaza Rocket Strikes Southern Israel

No damage or casualties reported in third such incident since announcement of renewed negotiations between Israel and Palestinians.

Yanir Yagna
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Yanir Yagna

A rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory on Tuesday morning, striking an open area in the western Negev. No damage or casualties were reported. The launch occured just hours after direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians commenced in Washington.

This is the third instance of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel since the military coup in Egypt began in early July, and since U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's announcement of renewed negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

The first incident took place roughly two weeks ago, just hours after the new round of talks was announced, and the second took place two days later. No damage or casualties were reported in those instances as well.

According to Israeli security sources, the two previous rockets were fired by Islamic extremists based in the Gaza Strip, apparently without Hamas' knowledge. After the first incident, Hamas took steps to arrest some of the individuals involved.

Despite this, Israel is concerned that the situation on the border with Gaza could escalate, after eight months of relative quiet achieved by a ceasefire agreement, which formally ended Operation Pillar of Defense last November.

Israeli explosives experts stand by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip that struck near the coastal city of Ashkelon, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013.Credit: AP

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