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Israel says it intercepted rocket fired from Gaza Strip


TEL AVIV, Israel — Sirens sounded in southern Israel and a rocket was intercepted from Gaza on Wednesday, the Israeli army said, as tensions soared between Palestinians and the country’s new ultranationalist government.

The army said in a statement that sirens sounded in the city of Sderot and in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip late Wednesday afternoon. The rocket, it said, was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.

Local residents reported hearing explosions. Israel’s rescue service said it received no reports of injuries except for a 50-year-old woman who slipped and fell while running to a shelter. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket.

The action in Israel’s skies Wednesday came after a spike in Israeli-Palestinian violence in recent days and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited with a call for calm.

An Israeli military raid on a militant stronghold in the West Bank city of Jenin last week killed 10, most of them militants. The next day, a Palestinian shooting attack in an east Jerusalem Jewish settlement killed seven people. A separate east Jerusalem shooting over the weekend by a 13-year-old Palestinian wounded two Israelis.

Following the unrest, Israel approved a series of punitive steps against the Palestinians, further ratcheting up tensions just as Blinken began meetings with leaders.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel’s national security minister, said the rocket fire from Gaza won’t stop him from implementing his punitive policies against Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons. He called for an urgent Security Cabinet meeting to discuss a response.

*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.