Two rockets fired in the early hours of Sunday from the Gaza Strip fell in southern Israel, the Israeli army announced in a statement.
One of the rockets activated the sirens of the coastal city of Ashdod, forty kilometers north of the Gaza Strip.
“The Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system launched interceptors according to standard operating procedures,” indicates the army statement.
However, a military spokeswoman specified that the antimissile system did not intercept either of the two rockets.
According to the Israeli press, the rockets fell in uninhabited areas, an information not confirmed by the military spokeswoman.
In response, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) fighter jets, attack helicopters and tanks attacked Hamas underground infrastructure and military posts in the Gaza Strip.
The IDF is conducting an ongoing situation assessment and stands ready to operate decisively against any attempted terrorist activity directed against Israeli civilians. or any violation of sovereignty.
The rockets were fired into central and southern Israel and alarm sirens sounded in the cities of Ashdod and Palmachim, although the sound of the interception of the shells was heard in more places, according to the ‘Jerusalem Post’.
The launch came three days after the anniversary of the death of a commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, Baha Abu al Atta. In response, the Palestinian militias fired hundreds of rockets at Israel.
Meanwhile, Mike Pompeo will be the first US Secretary of State to visit one of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
According to the Israeli media, Pompeo must visit the Psagot vineyard, near Ramalá, one of whose wines was named in his honor after claiming, a year ago, that the Israeli settlements were not contrary to international law.
The US State Department did not confirm this information so far. On Tuesday he had indicated in a statement that Pompeo was to travel to Israel on the occasion of a tour of the Middle East and would meet with the Israeli prime minister.
The visit of the US secretary of state to Israel will take place two months before the inauguration of the elected president of the United States, Joe Biden.
On the other hand, Israel signed an agreement with the American company Pfizer to buy eight million doses of the vaccine against covid-19, confirmed this Friday the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
The amount purchased, which will arrive in January, will allow to vaccinate four million citizensas each person requires two doses, the Israeli authorities explained.
“This is a great day for the State of Israel and for our victory over the coronavirus”Netanyahu celebrated in a joint press conference with the head of Health, Yilu Edelstein, in which they also announced negotiations to buy more vaccines that are being developed.
The American pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced on Monday that its vaccine against covid-19 is 90% effective, above what is required by US regulators, which allows us to predict quick emergency clearance to be made available to the public, something that could happen before the end of this year.
The head of the Israeli government personally led efforts to reach a pact with the pharmaceutical company, after having negotiated options for the purchase of vaccines months ago with two other smaller companies, Moderna and Arcturus, which appear to be less advanced in development.
Health recalled that advances in vaccines should not lead to relaxing precautions and that de-escalation in the country should continue gradually and cautiously. Next Sunday the Coronavirus Cabinet will meet to decide the steps to follow, after the lack of agreement in their meeting on Thursday.
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