A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip early Tuesday exploded on the Palestinian side of the border. GOC Southern Command Sami Turgeman ordered the Erez Crossing closed for about two hours in the wake of the launch.
The rocket alarm sirens sounded in the southern Hof Ashkelon Regional Council at around 5 A.M., several hours after heavy clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank city of Jenin. It appeared initially as if the rocket failed to detonate.
A Palestinian Salafist organization claimed responsibility for the rocket, according to the Walla! website, as a response to the incident in Jenin.
One Israeli officer and five Palestinians were said wounded during the clashes, which erupted during an arrest mission aimed at Majdi Abu Al-Hija, a well-known Hamas operative.
If a rocket was fired, this would be the first such incident since last week, when the Israel Air Forces struck a Hamas weapons factory in central Gaza after a rocket launched from the Strip exploded in Israeli territory, causing no damage.
On August 7, three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel, two of which exploded in the Strip and one in Israeli territory, near the border fence. A Salafi jihadist group in the Gaza Strip, named "The Grandsons of the Companions of the Prophet," took responsibility for the rocket fire, saying it was "the first response by Salafist jihadists to Jewish attacks against Al-Aqsa," AFP reported.
The Israel Air Force attacked a Hamas target in the Strip after the rocket fire, saying in a statement later that Hamas "carries the responsibility." The Israeli strike wounded four Palestinians, one of them seriously, according to websites affiliated with Hamas.
About a week earlier, two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. According to IDF officials, the two projectiles evidently exploded near the northern Gaza border. One exploded within Israeli territory. No casualties were reported.
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