Israel sources reported on Tuesday, that a Grad missile was fired from Gaza into an area close to the industrial zone in the city of Ashkelon (Aaqalan); damage was reported but no injuries. Israeli Ynet News reported that the Color Red alert system did not sound, and added that an army source said that the alert system did not sound the alarm, as it identified the aimed object as targeting an open area.
This is the first shell to be fired from the coastal region into Israel since the Israeli invasion of Gaza in late November 2012.
During that assault, Israeli forces dropped over 1500 bombs in nine days on the besieged coastal enclave of Gaza, resulting in the deaths of 160 Palestinians, many of whom were civilians, women and children — as well as six Israelis, including four civilians. The damage done to Gazan infrastructure during the airstrike is currently estimated at $1.2 billion.
As the 2012 invasion began, Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai publicly called for the Israeli army to “blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water.” The following day, Gilad Sharon, son of former Israeli premier Ariel Sharon, called for Israel to “flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza.”
To end the invasion, the Hamas government in Gaza, along with Egyptian mediators negotiated a truce in which all Palestinian armed groups agreed to stop firing homemade shells at Israel, and Israeli forces agreed to stop bombing Gaza.
Israeli violations of the truce began the day after it was declared, with an attack on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza, and Israeli violations of the truce have continued on a daily basis since then.
In just the last week alone, Israeli troops wounded four Palestinians, including a child and a journalist, by live ammunition in the northern Gaza Strip, and wounded two fishermen off the coast, also with live ammunition.
The Palestinian shell fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Monday marks the first violation of the truce by the Palestinian side.