First projectile fired from Gaza since end of Operation Protective Edge

Palestinian mortar shell fired from Gaza Strip lands explodes in Israeli territory for first time since August 26 when truce went into effect; Hamas denies knowledge of attack.

Rocket fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. [File] (photo credit: REUTERS)
Rocket fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. [File]
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A Palestinian shell fired from Gaza landed in Israeli territory, near the southern border on Tuesday evening. There were no injuries or damages in the attack, which occurred in the region between Eshkol and Sdot Negev.
It was the first mortar or rocket attack from the Gaza Strip since August 26, when a truce went into effect between Hamas and Israel after 50 days of conflict.
The attack was not immediately claimed by any faction in Gaza.
Hamas denied any knowledge on Tuesday of a cross-border mortar attack on Israel and said Palestinian factions remained committed to the Egyptian-brokered truce that halted a seven-week war in the enclave.
"There is no sign a mortar bomb was fired from Gaza and Palestinian factions are committed to keep the agreement for calm, and eager to maintain it," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.
Following the attack, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni stressed that the IDF must respond with force to any violation of the Gaza cease-fire.
"This is a test of Israel's deterrent force," Livni said. "The lack of an adequate response will reintroduce the routine of [rocket] alarms to the citizens of Israel."
The attack came as Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon warned  that the coming year will not be a quiet one in the world of security, also on Tuesday during a briefing with journalists at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv.
"Things can occur in every sector," he said, citing the high level of instability afflicting the region.
Parameters of the Egyptian cease-fire proposal that went into effect in August included that the truce will not be limited by time, that Israel will allow humanitarian aid – under supervision – into Gaza to begin rebuilding, and that within a month both sides will raise other issues.
That month is quickly approaching.
Israel will raise the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, and the steps needed to ensure that Hamas does not rearm, while Hamas will demand a seaport, airport, the opening of border crossings, the release of prisoners freed in the Gilad Schalit deal and then rearrested and the transfer of money to pay Hamas salaries.
Reuters contributed to this report.