Israel Reports Second Rocket Attack From Gaza This Week

Israel Reports Second Rocket Attack From Gaza This Week

The Israeli army said a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into the country’s territory on Wednesday, the second such attack this week. 

Police were called to the southern city of Sderot, less than a mile from the Gaza border, following reports that a rocket had fallen into the yard of a house there, according to a police spokesperson. No casualties were reported. 

Earlier this week, Israel shot down a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip and carried out an airstrike in retaliation, raising the specter of a wider confrontation with militants in the Hamas-run coastal enclave. 

The attacks come amid clashes in Jerusalem that erupted after Israeli police entered the Al-Aqsa compound last week, saying they needed to quell riots as Palestinians gathered for Ramadan prayers. Similar events at the site -- also known as the Temple Mount -- preceded Israel’s war with Hamas less than a year ago.

A spate of attacks inside Israel since late March have left 14 people dead, drawing a strong response from security forces. Subsequent operations in the West Bank by the Israeli army, border police and other forces have led to hundreds of arrests, and the deaths of 18 Palestinians in the West Bank since the start of April -- including unarmed civilians -- according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

The ratcheting of tensions on the Al-Aqsa compound has also affected Israel’s embattled coalition government, which is governing without a majority following the departure of a right-wing member of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s own party. 

The Islamist Ra’am party, which is part of the governing coalition, announced it was suspending its participation in the government due to the clashes in Jerusalem, further undermining the stability of the government.

In Sderot, local responders were working to safely remove the rocket from the scene, according to the police spokesperson. 

“The fact it didn’t explode and hit people is a miracle,” Alon Davidi, Sderot’s mayor, said in an interview with army radio shortly after visiting the scene.

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