July 23, 2024
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Israeli defense officials say that Hamas arrested five people responsible for firing a rocket at communities around Gaza over the weekend. The Hamas action followed harsh messages sent from Israel to the organization. Apparently the suspects do not belong to Hamas.

On Friday night, the IDF systems identified shooting from the Gaza Strip toward Israeli territory for the second time since the end of Operation Protective Edge. When a rocket landed near a kibbutz in the Eshkol Regional Council near the border of Gaza last weekend, Israeli security officials said Hamas had stopped those responsible.

The quick action took place after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya’alon sent sharp messages to the Gaza terror organization. In response, Hamas said that they were not responsible for the shooting and that they are committed to the cease-fire. The five suspects were taken in for questioning, and at this stage it is not clear which organization they belong to.

It was initially believed that the rocket fell inside the Gaza strip. Though Israel identified the rocket, a red alert siren did not sound. This is not the first shooting since the end of Operation Protective Edge. Two weeks ago, there were false alarms in a number of communities in Ashkelon and the Negev region, causing a panic among the residents. In a survey conducted by the IDF it became clear that the sirens were probably faulty. A month ago, there were a number of alarms in communities in the western Negev and Negev. While the IDF reported that they were false alarms, residents in the area reported hearing explosions.

The rocket was fired by the five suspects were aimed at southern communities for the first time since the end of Operation Protective Edge. Security officials and residents reported that the rocket exploded at around 18:25 in the open on the Israeli side, near the border fence near the kibbutz. After nearly two hours, the IDF confirmed the report.

By Gal Cohen/www.jerusalemonline.com

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