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July 12, 2019 3:56 pm

Amid Heightened Gaza Tensions, Rocket Strikes Southern Israel

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

Streaks of light are pictured as rockets are launched from the northern Gaza Strip toward Israel, as seen from Sderot, Aug. 8, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

A rocket fired from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip exploded in an open area in southern Israel on Friday night, causing no injuries or damage.

The launch occurred a day after the IDF mistakenly killed a Hamas operative who had been trying to prevent Palestinians from getting close to the Israel-Gaza border fence.

The IDF apologized for the incident, calling it a “misunderstanding,” yet Hamas still vowed revenge.

Due to the heightened tensions, the IDF has deployed extra Iron Dome aerial defense batteries in southern Israel.

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On Friday afternoon, around 6,000 Palestinians violently confronted IDF troops along the border, throwing rocks, firebombs and explosive devices.

One IDF vehicle was damaged by a Molotov cocktail.

Soldiers responded with riot-dispersal means, and several dozen Palestinians were injured, according to media reports.

Friday’s events took place as an Egyptian intelligence delegation visited Gaza for talks with Hamas and other groups on a long-term truce with Israel and intra-Palestinian reconciliation.

Border unrest has been a near-weekly occurrence since the Hamas-orchestrated “Great March of Return” demonstrations began in March 2018.

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