IDF strikes Hamas targets after Gaza rocket hits Israeli community

Three rockets fired from Gaza at Israel, two intercepted by Iron Dome

Rocket fired from Gaza falls in Israeli territory

Israeli planes and tanks struck two Hamas facilities in the northern Gaza Strip following the firing of three rockets into Israel on Friday. Both of the intercepts were made above Kibbutz Alumim, close to the Gaza border.

Reports did not speak of any immediate injuries in the strikes, the first in over ten days. Whilst a number of rockets have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, several have landed in the populated areas of Sderot and south of Ashkelon.

The rockets are often fired by fringe Islamist groups but Israel holds Gaza's rulers Hamas responsible for any attacks from the territory.

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On December 19, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said he believed that the rocket fire by Gaza-based terrorist groups was over, referring to the attacks as the "price" Israel had to pay for US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The status of the city is one of the most sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A third landed in a community bordering Gaza. Twelve Palestinians have died in the violence so far. When asked if the rockets had been fired to coincide with the commemoration an army official said, that it "absolutely could be", the case.

It said troops used riot dispersal means in protests across the West Bank where Palestinians threw fire bombs and stones at soldiers.

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