Rocket hits southern Israel; source unconfirmed

16:20 Jul 3 2015 Eshkol region

by IMEMC News & Agencies

A rocket landed in the Eshkol region of southern Israel, Friday afternoon, with no injuries or damage reported, the Israeli army said.

Rocket sirens sounded across the region at approximately 4:20 p.m., an Israeli army spokesperson said.

She could not confirm whether it had been fired from the Gaza Strip or the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. Israeli news site Ynet reported that the Israeli army believed it had been fired from the Sinai due to its proximity to the Egyptian border.

Ma'an further reports that, since the overthrow of Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi, in 2013, the northern Sinai has witnessed a bloody battle between Egyptian government troops and a militant insurgency.

At least 70 people, mostly Egyptian soldiers, were killed in attacks on Wednesday, which many attributed to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a militant group that changed its name to "Sinai Province" after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Egypt has in the past accused Gaza's de facto leaders Hamas of supporting militants in the Sinai, although Hamas denies the allegations.

In the past month, a number of rockets have been fired from Gaza into southern Israel, with a small militant group naming itself Sheikh Omar Hadid-Bayt al-Maqdis claiming responsibility.

The group is one among several that commentators believe are seeking to challenge Hamas' rule in the coastal enclave.
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