Rocket fired from Gaza hits southern Israel for first time in 3 months

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A rocket was fired from Gaza at southern Israel for the first time in three months.

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The long-range Grad rocket struck early Tuesday morning in the industrial zone of Ashkelon, causing some damage.

The al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah Party, led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, claimed responsibility for the rocket attack, saying it was in response to the death of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian security prisoner who died in an Israeli jail. Palestinians have rioted in several areas of the West Bank since Jaradat’s death on Feb. 23, and two Palestinian children were injured in riots on Monday following the funeral.

“We will never be free without fighting, and we must struggle in every way possible, including armed struggle, against the Israeli enemy,” said a statement issued by the terror group on Tuesday following the attack.

The last time a rocket fired from Gaza struck Israel was during last November’s Operation Pillar of Defense, an eight-day defensive operation which ended on Nov. 21, 2012, during which 1,500 rockets were fired from Gaza on southern Israel. 

No Color Red alert was sounded to warn residents of the approaching rocket. A military source told Ynet that the alert did not sound because it was believed it would hit an unpopulated area.

There was no Iron Dome anti-missile battery in the vicinity either, as it had been redeployed since the threat of rockets being fired from Gaza had been determined to be low.
 

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