Rocket fired at Israel from Gaza; first since May assault

The rocket fire could jeopardise three months of relative calm since Israel attacked Gaza over 11 bloody days.

Israel's Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept rockets fired from Gaza Strip, in Ashkelon, southern Israel, in May [Ariel Schalit/AP]

Air raid sirens have sounded in southern Israel after a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip, the first since Israel’s 11-day assault in May on the Gaza Strip in retaliation for rockets fired by Palestinian groups towards Israel.

The Israeli military said in a statement on Monday it identified one rocket launch that was intercepted by aerial defence batteries.

Amateur video footage appeared to show the rocket being intercepted over the southern town of Sderot.

The rocket fire could jeopardise three months of relative calm since Israel and Hamas, the group that governs the Gaza Strip, struck a ceasefire.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket fire, which came hours after Israeli troops clashed with Palestinians during a late-night arrest raid in the occupied West Bank, killing four Palestinians in one of the deadliest battles in the area in years.

The fighting erupted in Jenin, a city in the northern West Bank where tensions have been high since a man was killed by Israeli forces earlier this month.

The West Bank has experienced an uptick in deadly violence in recent months, with more than 24 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in recent weeks, including children and Palestinian protesters.

Israel’s May assault on the Gaza Strip, driven by friction as Israeli security forces tried to bar Palestinians from Jerusalem holy sites and a settler group works to evict Palestinians from their homes in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 War and, in the decades since, has established dozens of illegal settlements where nearly 500,000 settlers reside.

The occupied West Bank is part of the territory where a Palestinian state is envisaged under the two-state solution, the illegal settlements are seen as a major obstacle to resolving the conflict.

Source: News Agencies