Israel intercepts 2 rockets from Gaza in latest exchange

AP News
Posted: Dec 13, 2017 2:34 PM
Israel intercepts 2 rockets from Gaza in latest exchange

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military said it intercepted two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel on Wednesday in the latest barrage by Palestinian militants.

The army said in a statement that the Iron Dome missile defense system downed the rockets as they headed toward Israel. A third projectile hit an open area in southern Israel. No injuries were reported.

Palestinian militants have fired about a dozen rockets at Israel in the week since President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Hamas called for a new armed uprising against Israel in response to Trump's declaration.

Israeli strikes on Gaza in response to rocket fire over the weekend left at least two Palestinians dead and several others wounded.

Earlier on Wednesday, Israel carried out retaliatory strikes on a Hamas military compound in Gaza in response to rocket fire late Tuesday. No casualties were reported.

The bombardment came after a rocket fired toward Israel's southern coastal city of Ashkelon was intercepted by the anti-missile Iron Dome defense system.

Israel typically responds to each Gaza attack and holds Hamas responsible, even though other armed groups in the territory fire rockets.

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The area has been largely calm since the 2014 Israel-Hamas war, but the week since Trump's statement has seen violent protests by Palestinians and the most intensive exchange of cross-border fire since the 2014 conflict.

Palestinians have clashed with Israeli troops across the West Bank and along the Gaza border since Trump's announcement on Dec. 6. At least two Palestinians have been killed and scores wounded.