JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel cancelled the permits allowing some 500 Gaza Palestinians to enter Israel and pray on the Temple Mount for Ramadan following a rocket attack from the coastal strip.
The co-ordinator of government activity in the territories, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, told the Palestinian Maan news agency on Wednesday that the visits were cancelled because “the security conditions around the crossing aren’t stable,” since the rocket landed close to the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza.
The rocket fired Tuesday evening landed in an open area near Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, located near the Gaza border. The launch set off the Code Red rocket alert, causing the residents of southern Israeli towns near the Gaza border to run for bomb shelters and secure areas. No injuries or damage were reported.
The attack follows several similar ones from Gaza in the past month believed to have been fired by Islamic rivals of Hamas, the Islamist terrorist group that governs Gaza. Israel has said it holds Hamas responsible for all attacks originating in Gaza.
“Hamas is responsible for depriving worshipers of prayer in Al-Aksa mosque during Ramadan,” Mordechai told Maan. “I am not saying that Hamas fired the missile, but Hamas is responsible because it controls the Gaza Strip.”
Also in response to the rocket attack, the Israeli military said an Israeli airstrike early Wednesday morning hit the rocket launcher in northern Gaza that fired the rocket at Israel.