Iron Dome intercepts rocket from Gaza to Israel

This comes after sirens were activated yesterday and tensions are high in Jerusalem regarding the Temple Mount.

 Iron dome anti-missile system fires interception missiles as rockets fired from the Gaza Strip to Israel, in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, May 19, 2021.  (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Iron dome anti-missile system fires interception missiles as rockets fired from the Gaza Strip to Israel, in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, May 19, 2021.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

The Iron Dome missile-defense system intercepted a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel on Monday night, the first such attack in four months.

The incoming rocket siren was activated around 8:30 p.m. in the southern Israeli communities of Kissufim and Ein Hashlosha, which are located just across from the city of Khan Yunis.

The Eshkol Regional Council and Magen David Adom said there were no reports of injuries following the rocket attack.

Sirens were activated on Sunday afternoon in the town of Nahal Oz. The IDF later said the sirens were a false alarm. The last time that rockets were fired from the Hamas-ruled enclave was on January 1, when two rockets landed in the sea off the coast of Tel Aviv.

The rocket fire comes as tensions mount surrounding the Temple Mount as dozens of Palestinians have been injured and hundreds arrested following violent clashes with Israel Police.

 Israel Police forces in Jerusalem during Passover, April 17, 2022.  (credit: ISRAEL POLICE) Israel Police forces in Jerusalem during Passover, April 17, 2022. (credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

The international community, including Arab states that have normalized relations with Israel as well as Jordan, have been highly critical of the actions of Israeli security forces. Hamas and other groups in the Gaza Strip have warned that Jerusalem and the holy compound were a red line.

“Our Palestinian people are committed to holding to their rights, land and holy sites,” said Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. “All attempts to dominate al-Aqsa Mosque or change its Islamic identity will not succeed.”

Israeli officials understand that while Hamas is not interested in renewed conflict at this time, their major concern is that the violence might spiral and lead to other terrorist groups in the Strip launching rockets into Israel, thereby dragging the country into yet another war.

Violence on the Temple Mount last year coupled with the cancellation of Palestinian elections led to Hamas firing seven rockets toward Jerusalem. That led to 11 days of deadly conflict in which more than 4,300 rockets were fired into Israel. That conflict was labeled Operation Guardian of the Walls by the IDF and Sword of Jerusalem by Hamas.

According to reports, Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations have been mediating between Israel and Hamas in order to calm tensions and prevent further violence.