Four Rockets Hit Northern Israel from Syria

Missiles hit near border hours after IDF deploys Iron Dome in Ashdod, and then Be'er Sheva, amid fears hunger striker may set off war.

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Kobi Finkler, Ari Yashar, | updated: 19:05

Rocket (illustration)
Rocket (illustration)
Flash 90

Four rockets hit Israel Thursday afternoon in the Upper Galilee region in the north near the Lebanese border after "color red" warning sirens were sounded in the area - in an attack that comes even as the IDF is preparing for rocket attacks from Gaza.

The rockets were fired from Syria. It remains unclear who fired them; back in April Iranian officials reportedly told the Syrian regime to strike Israel and open a war front on the Golan, although it is possible Islamist rebel forces conducted the strikes as well.

No injuries were reported, and the IDF released a statement saying it is investigating the incident.

"Four rockets were launched from the Syrian Golan Heights, landing in the Upper Galilee and the Israeli Golan Heights," the IDF said in a statement. "No injuries have been reported."

Two of the explosions hit the Golan Heights and two hit the "finger" region of the Upper Galillee. They hit open ground and caused no injuries.

A fire has been set off by the blasts adjacent to a town in the area and firefighters are currently working to put it out.

Sirens were heard before the strikes to the east of Kiryat Shmona, in the towns of Gonen, Kfar Blum, Kfar Szold, Lahavot Habashan, Neot Mordechai, Amir, Sde Nehamia and Shamir.

Preparing for a different front

The sirens come even as the IDF is continuing to ramp up preparations for the possibility of a barrage of rocket fire from Gaza, in the event that hunger striking Islamic Jihad terrorist Mohammed Allan should die from his extended self-imposed refusal of food.

After deploying the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system in the coastal city of Ashdod on Thursday morning, the IDF went on to deploy the system around the southern city of Be'er Sheva as well several hours later.

Both cities were hard hit by rockets fired by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah terrorists in last summer's terror war.

The IDF said in a statement that the placement of the Iron Dome batteries was a routine process that was executed according to an updating assessment of the security situation.

Allan's condition deteriorated Wednesday after more than 60 days of hunger striking. Doctors have said he is suffering from brain damage, although the extent is not yet clear.

In response, the Supreme Court temporary lifted Allan's administrative detention order - despite just 15 days earlier rejecting a petition to lift the order. If Allan's brain damage is irreversible he will be freed immediately according to unusual promises made by the state, and if not he apparently will be freed in November.

Allan's Islamic Jihad terrorist organization has directly threatened to breach the ceasefire reached after last summer's war and restart its attacks against Israel if the hunger striking terrorist dies.

The IDF General HQ held several meetings on Thursday afternoon regarding the security situation ahead of the weekend, and in the talks discussed the recent escalation in Arab terror attacks in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

An IDF source said that even though Hamas does not desire a new conflict with Israel, other sources in Gaza will try to rile up the situation in an attempt to damage Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Those other sources may include Islamic Jihad, which is the second most influential terror group in Gaza after Hamas, and a local Salafist branch that identifies with Islamic State (ISIS) and has previously fired rockets at Israel to damage Hamas.