The fire Thursday evening took place after the Palestinians launched a rocket from the Gaza Strip late Wednesday night, which exploded in an open field in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. There were no injuries or damage reported in the event. Several minutes after midnight, a red alert siren sounded in several communities in the regional council, a few moments later a large explosion was heard south of the city of Ashkelon.
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In light of fear of security escalation in the southern Israel, Iron Dome batteries were deployed in several locations in the south of Israel – in Ashdod, Beersheba and Sderot.
Earlier Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at am IAF pilot graduation ceremony that "Israel holds Hamas responsible for all the attacks launched on us. We will strike at those who attack us, and at those who support them," he said in remarks that were also broadcast on radio."
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said the incidents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip - which are ruled by rival Palestinian governments - were unrelated, calling them "atmosphere attacks." But he promised that Israel would respond nonetheless.
"This is an unacceptable situation for us and despite the difficulty of dealing with an individual assailant who is incited to kill Jews, we will act with force and in other ways to harm those who try to carry out attacks," he said.
AFP and AP contributed to this report
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