ISIS affiliate in Gaza claims failed rocket launch on first day of school year

The rocket was launched from the Strip but did not reach Israeli territory.

September 1, 2015 07:06
1 minute read.
Gaza Strip

Light streak trail is seen as a rocket is launched from the northern Gaza Strip towards Israel July 29, 2014. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Militants in Gaza attempted to fire a rocket at the Ashkelon region Tuesday morning, triggering Israel's rocket alarm system.

The rocket, which was launched  from the Beit Lahiya neighborhood of the coastal Palestinian enclave, fell inside the confines of Gaza.

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The attempted attack was claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, also known as as the Sinai Province of the Islamic State, a group that opposes Hamas rule of the Gaza Strip and that is leading a bloody insurgency against the Egyptian army and security forces in Sinai.

The timing of the rocket fire from Gaza coincided with the start of the new school year in Israel with some 2.2 million students entering classrooms.

Yair Farjoun, the head of the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council where the rocket sirens sounded on Tuesday morning, said schools were opening as usual.

Farjoun called on the Defense Ministry to immediately increase protection against rockets for the educational institutions in his regional council.

Last week, the Israeli Air Force retaliated against a rocket launched from the Strip, striking a weapons manufacturing factory in central Gaza.

No group took responsibility for that attack, though Israel said it held Hamas responsible for all rockets fired from Gaza, including those fired by groups adversarial to the dominant Islamist faction in the Strip. 

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