Two rockets launched from the Gaza Strip aimed at Israel, were intercepted by the Iron Dome system and exploded in the sky.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said the Palestinian militia launched a rocket on the night of September 12 into the territory, marking the third night in a row that the Palestinian militia fired rockets into the country. A few hours later, while IDF planes hit the Gaza Strip in response, a second rocket was launched.
Both rockets were shot down by the Iron Dome defense complex. Published images show rockets launched from the Gaza Strip exploding like fireworks over Israel after being intercepted.
In response, the Israeli air force hit four Hamas military training facilities in the Gaza Strip, a weapons factory and an entrance to an underground bunker.
Rocket raid sirens sounded in the city of Sderot and other Israeli settlements near the Gaza Strip, sending thousands of people fleeing for cover. Israeli medics said three people suffered minor injuries while seeking shelter.
Regional Council spokesman Shaar Hanegev said there were no casualties or material damage caused by the rockets. No Palestinian militia group has claimed responsibility for the rocket launches.
Tensions between Israel and Palestinian militia groups escalated after six Palestinian prisoners, most of them members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), tunneled their way out of Gilboa prison. Israel later recaptured four of the six escaped prisoners, and the PIJ warned of retaliation for any harm Israel inflicted on the prisoners.
Israeli army chief of staff General Aviv Kohavi on September 12 warned Hamas not to escalate the situation. “The IDF protects the area bordering the Gaza Strip and will not tolerate any violation of our sovereignty. We will respond strongly to any violation and will continue to do so. If the situation escalates, Hamas and the Gaza Strip will pay a heavy price,” said General Kohavi.
Tensions between the parties escalated due to the collapse of the agreement to transfer Qatar’s cash into the Gaza Strip to Hamas. Hamas intends to use the money to pay civil servants, but the government of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said it does not intend for Qatar to transfer money directly to Hamas, as was the policy under his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu.
Nguyen Tien (Follow Times of Israel)