Despite truce, rocket sirens sound in Gaza border communities, Ashkelon area

IDF says one rocket crashed in an open area; no casualties or damage reported; tanks strike Hamas posts in northern Gaza; Gaza factions claim rocket fire due to 'technical error', still honor cease-fire
Matan Tzuri|Updated:
After more than 17 hours of calm, sirens sounded again in Gaza border communities Sunday evening.
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An alarm was triggered at 6:33pm following the identification of rocket launches from the Gaza Strip. The alarm was activated in the southern industrial park of Ashkelon, Zikim, and Netiv Ha'asara.
3 View gallery
ירי רקטות מעזה
ירי רקטות מעזה
Rockets fired from Gaza
(Photo: AP)
According to the IDF, one rocket crashed in an open area. There were no reports of casualties or damage. The Iron Dome missile defense system was not activated. The army responded with tank fire on Hamas posts in the northern Gaza Strip.
Hamas' Aqsa Radio claimed that the rocket was fired due to "technical error", and that Gaza's factions still honor the cease-fire.
The alarm sounded as most residents of the Gaza border area had returned after evacuating at the start of Operation Shield and Arrow.
The attack came shortly after Abu Hamza, the military spokesperson of the Al-Quds Brigades of the Islamic Jihad, referred to the concluded operation, stating: "The enemy's approach of assassinating leaders as a policy to end the resistance has proven futile.
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כיפת ברזל בפעולה באזור אשדוד
כיפת ברזל בפעולה באזור אשדוד
Iron Dome battery in Ashdod
(Photo: AFP)
Today, after the assassination of our leaders, we reassure our people and the resistance community that new leaders have replaced them during the battle and fulfilled their roles. The new leaders successfully concluded the rocket fire campaign, as a message and affirmation to our martyrs and an acknowledgment that our military mechanism is at its best."
Sirens were last heard in the Gaza border area Saturday night at 23:11, following the identification of two launches from the Palestinian enclave. One of them was intercepted by Iron Dome, while the other rocket exploded in an open area.
Shortly before midnight, the IDF began to respond by targeting Islamic Jihad assets. The Home Front Command updated the guidelines and announced that there would be no classes in the Gaza border area Sunday morning.
The IDF concluded the operation in the Gaza Strip, which ended with a cease-fire after five days of fighting that included over 1,400 rocket launches, of which approximately 1,100 crossed into Israeli territory and 473 rockets were intercepted, while in 127 other cases, air defense system failed to intercept them.
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הריסות בדיר אל בלח
הריסות בדיר אל בלח
Aftermath of IDF strike in Deir al-Balah
(Photo: Reuters)
Overall, Iron Dome recorded a success rate of 95.6% throughout the operation. During Operation Shield and Arrow, two interceptions were also carried out by the David’s Sling system. The second interception, targeting Beit Shemesh, was conducted after a brief coordination between David’s Sling and Iron Dome teams, resulting in the decision that the new system would take on the interception task.
The Air Force proudly marked the level of accuracy of the strikes throughout the 116-hour-long operation, which included 4,000 flight hours of unmanned aerial vehicles. This comes after increased aerial activity by the Air Force in the past two months across the entire Middle East, which included eight different operations in the northern sector.
During Operation Shield and Arrow, the Air Force launched approximately 400 bombs in the Gaza Strip, and out of the hundreds of attacks, around 115 were carried out by unmanned aerial vehicles. In total, about 289 targets in Gaza were attacked.
The IDF stated that the days of fighting were conducted successfully in terms of the number of senior terrorists eliminated, which amounted to six, including three Islamic Jihad leaders in the Strip who were killed in the opening strike overnight Wednesday last week.
First published: 18:51, 05.14.23
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