A Qassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel on Friday night, the Israeli military said on Saturday, the second such incident since Operation Protective Edge ended in August.

The rocket exploded east of the border fence in an open area in the Eshkol region. No one was injured nor was any damage caused.

The military’s tracking system detected the rocket, but the Color Red siren was not sounded. The rocket was initially thought to have exploded within Gaza.

There was no claim of responsibility from any armed faction in Gaza, which is dominated by the Islamist terrorist group, Hamas. A military spokeswoman said forces were still searching for debris.

Eshkol Regional Council head Haim Yellin said, “It doesn’t matter to us who fired [the rocket], whether it was Hamas or a rogue group. We demand a military response to rockets fired at the residents of Israel. The military accomplishments of Operation Protective Edge are disappearing and there is no diplomatic arrangement that will ensure true calm for the residents of the south and all of Israel.

“Time is already running out before the next war. Today it’s Eshkol, tomorrow it will be Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. And the military and diplomatic responses must be in kind.”

Yellin spoke on Saturday evening at the 19th annual memorial service for late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and demanded that the government provide a strong military response to terrorism and work toward a deal that will ensure long-term calm.

Following the rocket fire, the government decided Saturday to close the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings from Gaza to Israel.



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