IDF tank fire struck and destroyed a Hamas instillation in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday morning in response to rockets that had been fired from the enclave towards southern Israel, the military said.
The response by the IDF came after two rockets struck the southern Israel communities of Sha’ar HaNegev and Eshkol regional councils on Sunday. Both rockets fell in open areas and did not cause any damage.
The Code Red siren alerts were not activated in both incidents and the army is investigating why the warning system did not pick up the launch of the first rocket.
The rocket launches come amid escalating violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank following a deadly terror attack which killed two Israeli police officers that led Israeli authorities to install metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount Complex in Jerusalem’s Old City.
At least four Palestinians died during clashes with Israeli forces in demonstrations against the new measures and three Israeli civilians were killed in a deadly terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Halamisch by a Palestinian who has confessed to carrying it out 'for the Temple Mount'.
On Sunday evening an Israeli security officer at the Israeli embassy in the Jordanian capital of Amman was stabbed in the stomach by a 17 year-old with a screwdriver who was moving furniture in one of the residences in the embassy compound. The attack at the embassy comes just two days after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Amman protesting against Israel.
Demonstrations against the installation of the metal detectors also took place in Gaza on Friday leaving several Gazans injured from Israeli fire.
Several rockets have been launched from Gaza this year, most recently in June, claimed by small jihadist groups, many times as a means for pressuring Hamas by raising tensions between the terror organization and Israel.
The rocket launched in June, which also landed in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council was later claimed by the Islamic State-affiliated group Ahfad al-Sahaba. Hamas has cracked down on these small groups, carrying out a wave of arrests among Salafi, jihadist, pro-Islamic State organizations.
Israel holds Hamas responsible for all fire coming from the Strip.