Renewed rocket fire into Israel jolts tenuous Gaza truce

Near East

16 November 2019, 09:15


Israeli missile defences on Saturday intercepted two Palestinian rockets that were fired deep into southern Israel overnight on Saturday from the Gaza Strip, Israel’s military said.

Minutes earlier, sirens sounded in the middle of the night in Beersheba, the largest city in southern Israel, some 35 km (18 miles) from the Gaza border, warning of incoming fire.

The rocket attack came nearly two days after a tenuous ceasefire ended a flare-up in cross-border violence between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad.

The worst fighting in months was triggered on Tuesday when Israel killed a top commander from the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad, deeming him an imminent threat.

Gaza medical officials put the death toll from the two days of fighting at 34 Palestinians, almost half of them civilians.

At the same time, hundreds of rocket launches by militants paralysed much of southern Israel and reached as far north as Tel Aviv, sending entire communities to shelters. Dozens of Israelis were hurt.

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