Gaza-Launched Rocket into Israel Sent by ISIS Affiliate; IDF Fires Back

The scene in Sderot where a rocket launched from Gaza landed on October 5, 2016. (Israel Police Spokesperson)

An ISIS-affiliated jihadi group has claimed responsibility for a rocket launched from Gaza into southern Israel on Wednesday morning, landing next to an elementary school in Sderot but causing no injuries.

The projectile fell into the often-targeted southern city of Sderot, setting off alert sirens. After it crashed in a street, causing some damage to cars and buildings, police sappers were called to the scene.

At least two people were treated for shock and anxiety following the attack.

Ahfad al-Sahaba-Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis, a Salafist terror group associated with the Islamic State, took responsibility for the rocket with posts on social media in Arabic and Hebrew.

In broken, barely coherent Hebrew, the message read, “Oh you cowardly Jews: You don’t have safety in our land. [Former defense minister Moshe] Ya’alon, the failure at giving security. [Defense Minister Avigdor] Liberman to fail will be a certainty.”

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Though the ISIS affiliate, and not Hamas, claimed responsibility for the attack, Israel holds Hamas liable for all attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip. The IDF enforces a similar policy in the north, where spillover fire from Syria into the Israeli Golan Heights often results in IDF targeting of Syrian military positions.

IDF tanks retaliated on Hamas targets in the northern Gaza Strip. Palestinian media reported that airstrikes hit sites in Beit Hanoun.

The Salafist group also claimed responsibility for a rocket launched into Israel in August. The Israeli Air Force responded quickly and furiously to that attack, striking over 50 Hamas targets in retaliation.

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Source: Israel in the News