Hamas Allowed Rocket Fire at Israel as Retribution for Protester's Death, IDF Officials Believe

Gaza residents called on Hamas to avenge the death of 26-year-old Karam Fayyad, who was shot dead by Israeli forces during weekly demonstration

Palestinian relatives of Karam Fayyad mourn during his funeral in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, December 29, 2018.
Said Khatib/AFP

Hamas has allowed for the firing of a rocket from the Gaza Strip to Israel's south on Friday as retribution over the death of a 26-year-old Palestinian by Israeli soldiers earlier that day, Israeli miltiary officials believe.

Following the killing of Karam Fayyad during a weekly demonstration east of the Gazan city of Khan Yunis, Palestinians demonstrated, calling on Hamas to avenge his death.

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The rocket launched from Gaza fell in an open area and no casualties or damages were reported in Israel's southern communities. Israel's rocket alert system didn't give a warning of the firing, and it is unclear whether it had failed to identify it or didn't give a warning because it had been fired toward an inhabited area and therefore posed no danger.

An IDF helicopter struck a Hamas target in southern Gaza, near the Israeli border, following the rocket launch.

During the latest round of escalation in November, some 460 rockets were fired from Gaza to Israel, over 100 of them intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome system. The IDF attacked over 160 targets, some of which are building used by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Meanwhile, police forces were called to handle balloons found in Israel's south, suspected to be carrying explosives. No casualties were reported.