Smoke trails from rockets being fired in Gaza 311 (R).
(photo credit: Yannis Behrakis / Reuters)
Three Kassam rockets were fired from the northern Gaza Strip overnight Saturday. Two of the rockets exploded in open fields in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council and one in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. No injuries or damage was reported.
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The Color Red rocket siren was not activated to warn of the rockets.
Palestinians reported Sunday morning that in response to the rockets, the IDF had struck a home in the northern Gaza city of Beit Hanoun. The IDF spokesperson denied that there was any attack on the Strip.
On Friday, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz convened top
brass to discuss the escalation in the south, including OC Southern
Command Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo, Israel Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen. Ido
Nehushtan and OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi.
Following the meeting, senior officers condemned Hamas for not taking
action to rein in other terrorist organizations in Gaza that the IDF
believes are behind the recent rocket fire. Since the beginning of last
month, some two dozen rockets have been fired into Israel.
The recent escalation in rocket fire is viewed in the IDF as part of an
effort by global jihad-aligned groups in Gaza to undermine Hamas’s
authority and rule by attacking Israel. It is believed that Hamas is not
currently interested in a large-scale conflict, and therefore is not
sanctioning the rocket attacks.
Another possibility is that Hamas is turning a blind eye to the attacks
as part of an effort to remind Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the
world that it should be taken into account in ongoing efforts to get a
diplomatic process back on track.
The Hamas leadership in Gaza is also believed to be increasingly
frustrated with its failure to establish a unity government with Fatah
and by the PA’s plans to declare statehood at the United Nations General
Assembly session in September without taking the Gaza-based group into
consideration.Yaakov Katz and Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report