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First rocket fired into Israel from Gaza since May, says Israeli military

JERUSALEM: Militants in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket into Israel on Monday (Aug 16), the army said, the first since a fragile ceasefire in May ended deadly fighting between Israel and Hamas.

The "Iron Dome" missile defence system intercepted the rocket, an army statement said, noting that warning sirens sounded in Sderot and other towns nearby.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The rocket was fired after four Palestinians were killed earlier Monday in clashes with Israeli security forces at Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

An army spokeswoman confirmed to AFP that it was the first rocket fire since a ceasefire on May 21 ended 11 days of battle between the Jewish state and armed groups in the enclave.

Israeli strikes killed 260 Palestinians in Gaza, including fighters, while munitions fired from Gaza killed 13 people in Israel including a soldier, the police and army said.

Since then, Israel has launched several strikes on Gaza in response to incendiary balloons sent across the border, which sometimes started fires in Israel.

Israel has enforced a blockade on the Gaza Strip for nearly 15 years.

Last week it eased some trade restrictions on Gaza, including allowing 1,350 vaccinated merchants and businesspeople into Israel for the first time since the pandemic began more than a year ago.

The military also permitted the export of goods from the territory into Israel, and expanded the limited list of goods allowed to be imported into Gaza.

COGAT, the Israeli military body that administers civilian affairs in occupied Palestinian areas, said the relaxation was "conditional on the continued preservation of the region's security".

Source: AFP/gs


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