Rocket Sirens Sounded In Southern Israel Over Machine Gun Fire From Gaza

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Rocket Sirens Sounded In Southern Israel Over Machine Gun Fire From Gaza

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Late on February 5, incoming rocket sirens were sounded in the southern Israeli city of Sderot and several settlements around the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

After an initial probe, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that no rockets were fired from Gaza, adding that the sirens went off following heavy machine gun fire from the strip. According to the military, the Iron Dome air defense system was not activated. Still, local residents in Sderot reported hearing an explosion.

Palestinian armed factions in Gaza, which is ruled by the Hamas Movement, opened fire from heavy machine guns at nearby Israeli settlements in the past to trigger rocket sirens and even to activate the Iron Dome system, which fired interceptors on some occasions.

The ELM-2084 3D multi-mission radar used to provide detection and targeting for the Iron Dome can be apparently jammed by heavy machine gun rounds.

The heavy machine gun fire may have been a response to the February 4 Israeli operation in the West Bank’s Aqabat Jabr refugee camp that left 13 Palestinians wounded. A few hours after the operation, the Iron Dome intercepted an unidentified drone over Gaza. None of the armed factions in Gaza have taken cordite for launching the drone or claimed responsibility for the shooting, yet.

Israel usually holds the Hamas Movement, the de-facto ruler of Gaza, responsible for any attack from the strip. The IDF could respond shortly to the shooting by targeting positions of the movement’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Two waves of Israeli strikes hit military positions on January 27 and February 2 in response to rocket attacks, which were not carried out by Hamas.


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