7 injured after Gaza rocket hits house in central Israel, Israel responds with air strikes

Israel rocket damage gazaDrone footage posted online reportedly shows damage to a house a in central Israel caused by a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip.Screenshot/Ofir Rotem/Israel Defense Forces
  • Seven people were injured early Monday after a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip hit a home in central Israel. 
  • The Israeli Air Force on Monday evening retaliated, striking several Hamas targets across the Gaza Strip, including its so-called "military intelligence" headquarters, the IDF said.
  • It is uncommon for a rocket launched from Gaza to land in central Israel, and Monday's incident marks the furthest that such a rocket has landed in Israel since 2014, CNN reported
  • Tensions between Israel and Gaza have risen in recent weeks, and attempts to establish a cease-fire have been elusive. 

Seven people were injured early Monday after a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip hit a home in central Israel. 

The Israeli Air Force on Monday evening retaliated, striking several Hamas targets across the Gaza Strip, including its so-called "military intelligence" headquarters, the IDF said.

According to the IDF, a rocket was launched around 5 a.m. from a Hamas position near Rafah, located in the southern end of the Gaza Strip. The rocket landed on a residential home in the central community of Mishmeret, located around 75 miles (120 kilometers) away from the suspected launch site. 

mishmeret israel gaza strip mapThis map shows the distance between the Gaza Strip and the central Israeli community of Mishmeret.Screenshot/Google Maps

Seven people inside the house were wounded in the early morning attack, Israel's emergency service Magen David Adom said, including two women, two men, and three children. The injuries ranged from light to moderate, the service said. 

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The home, located just 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of Israel's largest city of Tel Aviv, belonged to a British-Israeli family, the BBC reported. The attack also damaged a nearby home and several vehicles.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, though the IDF has blamed Hamas militants for the rocket fire. The IDF also posted drone footage it says shows the home that was damaged.

While militants on the Gaza Strip frequently launch rockets into Israel, they often land in open areas or communities located on the outskirts of the region. It is uncommon for a rocket launched from Gaza to land in central Israel, and Monday's incident marks the furthest a rocket launched from Gaza has landed in Israel since 2014, CNN reported

The army said the system had not been triggered prior to the rocket hitting the Mishmeret home because "rocket fire toward the center of the country was not expected at the time," Haaretz said.

Israel launched air strikes on several targets in Gaza, including what it called Hamas "military intelligence" headquarters, late Monday and into the morning on Tuesday. The IDF says it launched the air strikes in response to attacks on Israeli communities. 

The IDF also said it deployed infantry and armored troops to its southern border, and said it was preparing to call up thousands of reservists. 

Sirens continued to sound in communities in southern Israel early Tuesday morning, the IDF said.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was visiting the US, cut his trip short and promised to respond with force

Tensions between Israel and Gaza have risen in recent weeks, and attempts to establish a cease-fire have been elusive. 

Earlier this month, two rockets were launched toward Tel Aviv, triggering sirens across central Israel. No injuries were reported. Israeli media reported that the rockets had been launched from Gaza by mistake, citing defense officials.  

Israel responded with air strikes on over 100 targets in Gaza, which injured four Palestinians, Gaza health officials reported

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