Middle east

Red Alert Sirens Went Off in Southern Israel Amid Reports of Loud Explosion

The Israel Defense Forces reported an alert had been triggered late Friday night in Kissufim, a kibbutz roughly a mile from the border with the Gaza Strip, and that it was reviewing the report.

According to reports, at least three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, one of which was intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system. The other two are reported to have landed in open terrain, causing neither injuries nor damage. The IDF later confirmed these reports, noting the two rockets not intercepted both exploded near the border fence.

The attack is just the latest over the last week, beginning with rockets fired on Israeli Independence Day, prompting extensive bombing of Gaza by Israeli fighter jets. It also comes after a Syrian anti-air missile traveled nearly 300 miles into Israeli territory after overshooting an IDF aircraft bombing southern Syria. The rocket landed near Israel’s Dimona nuclear power station.

Earlier this week, an Israeli mob in Jerusalem attacked Palestinians and people judged to have an “Arabic accent,” chanting “death to Arabs” and ransacking several people’s homes. Days later, a Palestinian protest saw more than 100 people injured by Israeli police, including 22 people sent to hospitals, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

In the encircled Gaza Strip, where medical supplies are largely blocked by a 15-year-long Israeli embargo, COVID-19 is raging. More than 1,000 new cases have been reported each day for several weeks, while according to aid workers, just a few thousand vaccines have been sent to protect a population of more than two million living in one of the most densely populated areas on Earth. However, across the fortified border in Israel, the Health Ministry reported on Thursday that 80% of the population over the age of 16 has been vaccinated against the deadly infectious virus.

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