Officials from the Eshkol Regional Council, where residents reported hearing an explosion nearby, said the projectile fired from Gaza landed in an open field causing no injuries or damages.
Israeli forces on Wednesday night targeted Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip in response to a rocket fired from the enclave that landed in an open area in Israel’s south.
“A short while ago, one launch was identified from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory. In response, an IDF tank targeted a Hamas military post in the southern Gaza Strip,” Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.
Officials from the Eshkol Regional Council, where residents reported hearing an explosion nearby, said the projectile landed outside of residential areas and caused no injuries or damages.
Several hours before, a rocket fired from Gaza landed inside the enclave after apparently failing to reach Israeli territory. The IDF called the incident an “internal issue” without elaborating further.
Despite the existence of various extremist groups in Gaza, Israel holds the territory’s Hamas government responsible for any activity in the enclave.
Most of Hamas’ Gaza-based leadership, along with representatives from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, were in talks with Egyptian officials in Cairo when projectiles were fired from the Strip on Wednesday.
The UN, Egypt, and Qatar have for several months been mediating disputes between Palestinian factions and working with Israel to prevent violent confrontations between Gaza-based terror groups and its forces.
Palestinian sources told Israel’s Kan broadcaster that extremist Salafist groups were responsible for the incident of reported rocket fire on Wednesday that failed to reach Israeli territory.
In January, one Hamas militant was killed by Israeli tank fire in a retaliatory strike after an IDF soldier was injured by sniper fire on the Gaza border. Several hours later, Israeli aircraft struck a training camp belonging to Hamas’ armed wing.
Since March 2018, 254 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed in clashes with Israeli troops, according to a report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
Most of the Palestinian casualties resulted from Israeli fire during border clashes, while some occurred during Israeli strikes in the territory. At least 50 of the casualties have been identified as members of Hamas, which Israel (and the US) consider a terrorist organization.
During the same period, two Israelis were killed in the context of Gaza hostilities while another 52 suffered injuries, the report said.
One Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper during border demonstrations while another died in a botched special forces operation inside the blockaded enclave.
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