Iron Dome Missile Defense System Intercepts Two Rockets Fired From Gaza Over Israel

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File photo: Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip towards southern Israeli communities on December 9, 2017.
File photo: Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip towards southern Israeli communities on December 9, 2017.Credit: Ilan Assayag

Three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel on Wednesday night. Two were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and one fell into an open area as alarm sirens sounded in southern Israeli districts and cities, including Sderot.

>>After a dozen Gaza rockets in a week, Israel is being backed into a corner | Analysis

A resident of Nahal Oz, a kibbutz located near the Gaza border, said residents heard at least one large explosion. Israeli police confirmed that they had not received any reports of impact within Israeli territory.

Magen David Adom emergency responders said that a 30-year-old man wounded his leg while running for cover, while two others were being treated for shock.

"I expect the prime minister, defense minister and IDF chief of staff to strike the terror organizations without mercy," Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi said after the rocket fire, stating that "we will not tolerate continued fire at Sderot." Davidi added that current Israeli policy is not working.

The IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories posted about the strike on its Arabic-language Facebook page. The post, entitled “a gift from Hamas for the residents of Gaza, on the 30th anniversary [of the first intifada],” showed two photos of damaged walls with text reading that the Iron Dome shot down two rockets launched from the Gaza Strip. ”What Hamas didn’t tell you,” the post continued, “is that a third shell launched from Gaza hit the Ghazi Al-Shwa Public School in Beit Hanun, located in northeast Gaza, and destroyed a classroom.”

The post added that “terrorist groups in Gaza unquestionably proved what we will say once again: their hands are destroying your children’s future. Just think about what could have happened if they had fired the shell during the daytime, while the classroom was full of your chidren.”

Since U.S. President Donald Trump announced American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, eight rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into the Negev region. At least three other rockets were fired from Gaza but fell inside Palestinian territory. 

This is the largest number of rockets fired at Israel since the end of Operation Protective Edge, the war that Israel fought with Hamas and its allies during the summer of 2014.

Israel struck a Hamas military compound in the southern Gaza Strip early Wednesday morning after a rocket was fired from the Strip toward southern Israel Tuesday. The exchange was the latest incident in a week of escalated tensions along the border, marked by rocket fire at Israel by terror groups and responses in turn from the army.

The Health Ministry in Gaza on Wednesday said that three people in Gaza were lightly wounded in the Israeli strike.

The Israeli military said late Monday it struck Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for two rockets fired at southern Israel. One of the rockets was shot down by Israel's missile defense system.

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