Israel’s President, Shimon Peres , visited the Sdot Negev Regional Council in the Gaza region Tuesday where he addressed a rocket fire incident from earlier in the day:
“Quiet will be met with quiet; missiles will be met with a response. I believe both sides have a deep interest in lowering the flames,” he said according to an official statement.
A grad rocket hit outside of Ashkelon early Tuesday morning. It was the first time a rocket had been fired at Israel since the conclusion of Operation Pillar of Defense, in November.
The shell, described by security sources as an 8″ projectile with an improved mid-to-long range, landed on a road in Ashkelon’s industrial zone. No injuries were reported.
Following the incident the Israeli government closed the Kerem Shalom Crossing into Gaza.
Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Fatah’s military wing, claimed responsibility for the attack. Hamas denied that it was involved, going so far as to claim the whole incident was a hoax.
“Israel’s claims of rocket fire are pure lies and they have not been corroborated by anyone,” an official Gaza government statement said.
Head of the Gaza Information Office Ihab Raisin added that the reports were “An attempt to take attention away from the Palestinian people’s rage over Israel’s continuous crimes against our prisoners.”