Gaza Rocket Strikes Southern Israel; IDF Returns Fire

The Israeli army said it struck two Hamas positions in northern Gaza in retaliation for the rocket fire.

The site of the rocket explosion in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, March 18, 2017.
Israel Police

A rocket fired from Gaza struck an open area in southern Israel on Saturday.No one was injured in the attack, according to the Israeli army.

The Israel Defense Forces retaliated with aircraft and artillery fire, targeting two Hamas positions in northern Gaza, the army said in a statement. The IDF sees Hamas as holding sole responsibility for developments in the Strip, it said.

Rocket warning sirens sounded along the Gaza border just before the army said the rocket had landed in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.

The rocket attack came just one day after Israel's "Arrow" missile defense system shot down an anti-air projectile near Jerusalem that had been fired by Syrian government forces. That incident was part of a larger clash in Syria with Israeli Air Force jets, the most serious such occurrence since the beginning of Syria's civil war six years ago.

On Thursday, Israeli jets struck two Hamas-affiliated targets in the Gaza Strip after a rocket fired from Gaza struck an open area in the Sdot Negev Regional Council.