Several rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel in recent days, landing in rural areas with no injuries. In the past month, over 20 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israel from the Palestinian enclave.
Last Friday, Islamic Jihad terrorists fired three mortar shells apparently in an attempt to interrupt a ceremony for a fallen IDF soldier whose remains are being held by Hamas. Two of them were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile Defence System, while the third struck a building in an Israeli community on the border.
The head of the Eshkol regional council, Gadi Yarkoni said in a statement that “residents were prepared for rocket fire following the discovery of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad tunnel, the construction of the IDF’s underground barrier and US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital”.
December saw the largest incidence of rocket fire from the Strip since the 2014 Israel-Hamas war with new daily attacks. At least 20 rockets and mortars have been fired from Gaza since US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the country’s capital, at least six of which have been intercepted by the Iron Dome defence system.
According to Israeli assessments, the rockets are not being launched by Hamas, but by other terror groups in Gaza. Hamas has apparently been either unwilling or unable to clamp down on these groups.
There were at least 56 rockets fired towards Israel in 2017. Over 48 rockets were fired from Gaza, landing in southern Israel, and over eight were fired by Islamic-State affiliated militants in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
Since the 2014 war, there have been, on average, around one or two missiles per month fired towards civilian areas in Israel from Gaza, in violation of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.