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Sirens Blare in Southern Israel Amid Reports of Rocket Fire From Gaza

© Flickr / Israel Defense ForcesIron Dome system intercepts Gaza rockets aimed at central Israel
Iron Dome system intercepts Gaza rockets aimed at central Israel - Sputnik International
Sirens blared in several areas of southern Israel Friday night amid unconfirmed reports of rocket fire from Gaza. Local media outlets indicated that Israel was engaging in air strikes in the Gaza strip after an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldier was wounded by a grenade earlier in the day.

The sirens began ringing out around 1:30 a.m. local time and have been reported in Sdot Hanegev, Eshkol, Shaar Hanegev, and Hof Ashkelon Regional Councils. Most have been confirmed by the IDF on their Twitter page.

According to Israel National News, unconfirmed reports indicate that Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system took down several rockets fired from Gaza into Israeli territory. 

Citing Palestinian sources, Haaretz reported that the al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza was attacked by the IDF. Israel National News noted that Palestinian media have also reported attacks on targets in the north and south of the enclave.

Palestinian social media activist Muhammad Smiry posted video on his Twitter account which he says was taken from his window and appears to show an explosion. Channel 14 Hebrew says that the IDF dropped at least 20 rockets and mortar shells on Gaza in the course of an hour and a half. 

The IDF reported that Hamas fired 17 missiles from Gaza, five of which were downed by the Iron Dome amid air strikes conducted by the Israeli Air Force.

Earlier, the IDF had reported that one of its soldiers was "moderately wounded" by a grenade. The military responded with live fire that killed a 15-year-old Palestinian boy, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

The violence on the Gaza border reached its peak in mid-May due to the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, and the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, which prompted the exodus of Palestinians. Over 60 Palestinians were killed and over 2,700 others were wounded by the Israeli forces in the course of two days amid raging hostilities.

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