In Brief: First rocket of year launched at Israel from Gaza Strip

Gaza Strip > NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

A rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel on 3 January, according to Israeli military reports.
The IDF said the projective landed inside Gaza itself, causing no injuries or damage.

Incoming rocket sirens did not sound in nearby Israeli communities, as defence systems had projected it would miss its target.
However, Israeli residents of nearby towns reported hearing a large explosion.

The rocket followed a provocative visit to the Temple Mount by Israel’s incoming national security minister Itamar Ben Gvir that morning.

It represented the first attack against Israel since 3 December, when missiles were fired into Israel in response to the death of two Palestinian Islamic Jihad members in the West Bank.

Hamas, which has governed the Gaza Strip since a bloody coup in 2007, has repeatedly threatened to retaliate violently to Ben Gvir’s visit.

Ben Gvir’s reputation as a provocateur has included several trips to the Temple Mount, both as an activist and Knesset member, alongside leading nationalist marches through Jerusalem’s Old City.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility by any terror group for the rocket fire, though Israel holds Hamas responsible for all violence emanating from the Strip. Israel does not generally respond to failed rocket launches.