Hamas government in Gaza denied Tuesday Israel's claim that a Strip-based terror group fired a Grad rocket at southern Israel.
The shell, described by security sources as an 8" projectile with an improved mid-to-long range, landed on a road in Ashkelon's industrial zone. No injuries were reported.
- Gaza rocket hits near Ashkelon school
It was the first time a rocket was fired at Israel since the conclusion of Operation Pillar of Defense, in November.
Hamas, however, was unfazed by photos of the rocket, nor by the fact that the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Fatah's military wing, claimed responsibility for the fire.
The Grad (Photo: Gadi Kabalo)
"Israel's claims of rocket fire are pure lies and they have not been corroborated by anyone," an official Gaza government statement said.
Head of the Gaza Information Office Ihab Raisin added that the reports were "An attempt to take attention away from the Palestinian people's rage over Israel's continuous crimes against our prisoners."
Meanwhile, the IDF has decided to temporarily close the Kerem Shalom crossing, in response to the rocket fire. Kerem Shalom is used primarily for the transfer of goods to Gaza Strip.
Operations at Erez crossing have also been suspended, with the exception of medical emergencies and humanitarian cases.
"The decision on reopening the Kerem Shalom crossing and resuming Erez crossing's full operations will be made according to security assessments," the IDF said.
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