By Biodun Busari
The Israeli military has said Gaza fired a rocket into southern Israel on Tuesday evening following National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Ben-Gvir paid a morning visit to the focal point on the Temple Mount, which houses the al-Aqsa Mosque, a development that has sparked reactions around the world, according to The Times of Israel.
Israel said the launch from the Strip was one of the retaliatory threats from the rulers of the coastal enclave, the Hamas terror group.
Read also: Outraged as an Israeli minister, Ben-Gvir visits al-Aqsa Mosque
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the projectile landed briefly within the Strip and apparently caused no injuries or damage.
Incoming rocket sirens did not sound in Israeli communities because the rocket was projected by defense systems to land in the Hamas-controlled area.
Israeli residents of towns near the border reported hearing a large explosion.
The IDF said there were no special instructions for residents after the rocket fire.
The rocket fire came after Hamas warned that a visit by Ben Gvir to the Temple Mount would be a “detonator,” and promised resistance.
But Ben Gvir and his party have repeatedly dismissed Hamas’s threats.
The newly installed National Security Minister, who has long been accused of being a provocateur, made several trips to the Temple Mount yesterday as an activist and member of the Knesset.
He has also led controversial nationalist marches through the Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City.
On several occasions, he opened an ad hoc office in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, which was also the center of Israeli-Palestinian tensions, causing unrest.
Ben Gvir is head of one of the three far-right parties in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s nascent coalition.
It was unclear whether Israel was preparing a response to Tuesday’s failed missile launch.
There was no immediate claim by any of the Gaza-based terror groups for the rocket fire.
The last firing towards Israel from the coastal enclave was on Dec. 3, apparently in response to the deaths of two Palestinian Islamic Jihad members during a raid on the West Bank.
The report that Palestinian militants are allegedly launching missiles at Israel after Ben-Gvir’s visit to al-Aqsa first appeared on Vanguard News.