Hamas's Kassam Brigades 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)
Shattering a lengthy period of calm, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired an
unknown number of rockets at southern Israel, triggering air raid sirens in
Ashkelon and surrounding areas early on Wednesday morning and awakening
As of Wednesday evening, the IDF, which launched a search of
the area, found no projectiles in Israeli territory, and an army source
indicated the rockets may have fallen inside Gaza.
Ashkelon Mayor Beny
Va’aknin told Army Radio that a number of worried parents called local
authorities to see if schools would open as normal, which they did. He said the
city quickly returned to normal after the siren.
The rocket attack marks
the first time Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have attempted to strike Israel in
nearly two months.
In response, the IDF’s Coordinator of Government
Activities in the Territories unit ordered the closure of the Kerem Shalom
border crossing between Gaza and Israel.
About 20 rockets have been fired
by terrorist groups this year. Several rockets were fired during US President
Barack Obama’s visit in March.
Last month, the London-based Arab-language
daily Asharq Al-Awsat
reported that Hamas replaced policemen at the Gaza Strip
border areas to prevent smaller Salafi-jihadi groups from violating the
cease-fire and firing rockets at Israel.
The paper quoted a Palestinian
source as saying that Israel passed messages to Hamas through Egyptian mediators
threatening to launch another large operation in the Gaza Strip if the rocket
fire didn’t stop.Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.