A few hours after it was reported that two Palestinians were killed during violent riots along the Gaza Strip border, an Iron Dome battery successfully intercepted a rocket launched from Gaza towards Israel. The second rocket, which was fired about an hour later on Friday evening, was not located within Israeli territory.

Red Alert sirens sounded Friday evening (Archives)

Red Alert sirens sounded Friday evening (Archives) Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Two red alert sirens were sounded this evening (Friday) within one hour in the regional councils of Sha’ar HaNegev, Sedot Negev, Hof Ashkelon, Eshkol and Sderot. The rocket sirens were heard hours after it was reported that two Palestinians were killed during violent confrontations with the IDF along the Gaza Strip border.

Israeli residents of the area reported hearing explosions, but no casualties or damage were reported. The IDF stated that the Iron Dome missile defense system successfully intercepted the first rocket fired towards the Israeli communities near Gaza. The second rocket, fired an hour later, did not fall within Israeli territory.

As previously reported by JOL, a red alert siren was also sounded yesterday (Thursday) evening in the Hof Ashkelon and Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Councils. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit reported that no rockets landed in Israeli territory and that no special instructions have yet been issued to residents of the south.

The alert level in the area was raised days ago in anticipation of Trump’s declaration. The rocket launches came amid massive riots that first broke out Thursday after Fatah and Hamas called for direct confrontation with Israeli security forces.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a new intifada and called the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “a declaration of war against the Palestinians.” In a mass protest rally in Gaza on Thursday morning, Haniyeh added that Hamas is already preparing for an intifada against “the occupation and the Zionist enemy.”

In addition, Khader Habib, a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, also stated in response: “The Palestinian people have the right to use all manners to express their anger and all means of resistance. The Palestinian resistance will respond to this crime committed by the American administration and the Zionist enemy.”