Photo Credit: Flash 90
Landing site where a Gaza rocket exploded in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, October 5, 2016.

The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system intercepted a rocket headed straight for a populated area in the Gaza Belt region in southern Israel on Friday night after terrorists launched another attack against civilians across the border. One rocket didn’t make it past the border and instead landed in Gaza. But a third rocket landed in Sderot, damaging several vehicles.

Arab media reported the IDF retaliated with tank fire directed at a Hamas terrorist site in central Gaza.

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Israel Air Force fighter pilots also carried out air strikes against a Hamas outpost near the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun.

The IDF said it considers Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization responsible for any rocket or mortar fire emanating from the region, regardless of whose finger is on the weapon.

Southern Israeli residents were warned to remain near their shelters and safe spaces after the first Red Alert incoming rocket warning siren shattered the calm of a Sabbath evening at around 6:11 pm, sending families racing to safety in Sha’ar HaNegev, Sdot Negev, Eshkol and the Ashkelon Coastal Regional Council districts. That was followed up shortly after by another at around 7:07 pm, sending families back to the shelters in Sdot Negev and the Bnei Shimon Regional Council districts.

A third warning siren activated at around 10 pm, again in the Sdot Negev and Bnei Shimon Regional Council districts.

“Due to alarms activating recently in the communities in our area, we are asking residents as a precaution to remain near shelters or protected spaces,” said the announcement from the Sdot Negev Regional Council.

The sirens sounded in numerous communities along the Gaza border and in the city of Sderot, less than a mile away.

Gaza terrorists launched earlier attacks on southern Israel on Thursday as well.

IDF tanks and the Air Force hit two targets in northern Gaza on Thursday evening in retaliation for the attempted rocket attacks earlier in the afternoon.

This article was posted from New York before the onset of the Holy Sabbath.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.