Israeli Tank Fired on Hamas Post Without Authorization After Gaza Rocket Hit Building in South

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An IDF tank on the Gaza border, September 2020.
An IDF tank on the Gaza border, September 2020.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

The Israeli military struck several Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip overnight Sunday in retaliation for a rocket that was fired earlier from the coastal enclave into Israel, said the army.

Rocket sirens sounded in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon Saturday night, and locals reported hearing explosions. Police said a building in Ashkelon was damaged but there were no injuries or casualties, and the army said on Sunday it has opened a probe into why the Iron Dome missile defense system did not activate after the launch.

Following the confrontation, an IDF tank in the area fired at a Hamas position without authorization. The Israeli army said it is investigating the incident, and noted it considered the event very grave.

The Israeli attack hit an underground facility, several military positions and two rocket manufacturing sites belonging to Hamas, an army statement said.

Last week, two rockets launched from Gaza fell in open areas in Ashdod and the central city of Rishon Letzion after the Iron Dome missile defense system failed to intercept them.

The Israeli military struck Hamas targets inside the Strip in retaliation, hitting an underground facility and military positions, an army statement said.

A Hamas source claimed the rockets were launched due to a malfunction caused by lightning, and that neither side had intended to escalate violence. 

The Israeli military has also assessed that the rocket fire was due to the stormy weather conditions and Hamas's faulty maintenance of its rocket launchers.

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