Rockets fired from Gaza hit Israeli coast


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The Independent Online

Three grad rockets fired from the Gaza Strip hit the Israeli coastal town of Ashkelon this morning, according to media reports, the first time missiles from the Palestinian enclave have hit Israel for nearly two months.

There were no injuries in the attack, but Cogat – the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories - ordered the closure of the commercial Kerem Shalom border crossing between Gaza and Israel.

It is the first time rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel since 29 April. It is not known which group fired the rockets, but since last November’s brief war between Hamas – the group that administers Gaza – and Israel, rocket fire has largely come from other groups. Israel says that it holds Hamas responsible for all militant activity.

Operation Pillar of Defence, as Israel named last November’s operation, was in response to thousands of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel during 2012, the Israeli army said. The war also came two months before Israel’s general election.

The operation led to the death of 167 Palestinians. More than 1,500 rockets were fired from the Palestinian territory during the war, leading to the deaths of six Israelis.

About 20 rockets have been fired from militant groups this year – a figure that is considerably down on last year. Several rockets were fired during US President Barack Obama’s visit in March.