Hamas terrorists in Gaza, Aug. 27, 2014 (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90) Hamas terrorists in Gaza, Aug. 27, 2014 (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Gaza-based terrorist groups were not in a rush to claim responsibility for the mortar bomb that exploded in Israel’s Eshkol Regional Council Tuesday.

Less than a month after the ceasefire deal between Hamas and Israel went into effect, a mortar bomb was fired Tuesday from Gaza into a village in Israel’s Eshkol Region.

No injuries or damages were reported in the immediate aftermath of the explosion, which occurred near the border fence, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson said.

First Rocket to Hit since Ceasefire

“For the first time since the end of Operation Protective Edge, three weeks ago, a rocket fired from Gaza hit Israel,” according a statement on the official IDF Facebook page. “During the operation, more than 4,480 rockets were fired at Israel by Hamas.”

Hamas denied that a missile was fired from Gaza on Tuesday.

“There is no sign a mortar bomb was fired from Gaza and Palestinian factions are committed to keep the agreement for calm and eager to maintain it,” said Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri.

No other Gaza-based terrorist groups had stepped forward to claim responsibility in the hours following the explosion.

Whether the incident on Tuesday was deliberate or the result of a terrorist-training accident, it is unacceptable for missiles to be launched against Israelis, said Haim Yallin, head of the Eshkol Regional Council.

Rocket Fire Unacceptable

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90)

“We will not accept sporadic fire at our communities,” Yallin stated. “Israel’s leadership will evaluate how it chooses to protect its residents. We expect the government to act to bring quiet to the region.”

Israel must take action in response, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told the Jerusalem Post.

“This is a test of Israel’s deterrent force,” said Livni. “The lack of an adequate response will reintroduce the routine of [rocket] alarms to the citizens of Israel.”

The IDF began Operation Protective Edge on July 8 in response to prolonged terrorist missile fire from Gaza against Israeli civilians. The 50-day military operation, conducted by air and on the ground in Gaza, ended on Aug. 26 when both sides agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire.

Author: Joanne Hill
Staff Writer, United with Israel