The sun sets over the northern Gaza Strip as seen from the Israeli border, Israel August 23, 2016.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The red alert incoming rocket siren which sounded in the Eshkol Regional Council on the border with Gaza on Monday morning was a false alert, the army confirmed in a statement.
Nonetheless, the Islamic State-linked Ahfad al-Sahaba, a salafist group from Gaza, claimed it had fired a rocket targeting Nir Oz in southern Israel.
Tensions between Israel and the Gaza Strip has been high as of late, with the false alert coming days after a failed rocket attack by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a faction of the Palestinian Fatah party's armed wing in the Gaza Strip.
According to a statement by the group, they had fired two rockets towards the Eshkol Regional Council and vowed that “the coming days will bring an escalation against the Israeli occupation.”
While there have been around 20 rockets launched in 2016 towards Israel from the Gaza Strip, and five rocket have been launched at Israel within the last month, including two incidents by the Islamic State group in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula.
Most of them have been claimed by small jihadist groups, many times as a means for pressuring Hamas by raising tensions between the terror organization and Israel. Hamas has cracked down on these small groups, recently carrying out a wave of arrests among Salafi, jihadist, pro-Islamic State organizations.
Israel holds Hamas responsible for all fire coming from the Gaza Strip.