JERUSALEM — Palestinian militants fired a rocket into southern Israel early Saturday, breaking a two-month lull in violence on the Gaza-Israel border in contrast to rising tensions in the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli army said air defense systems intercepted the projectile, which triggered warning sirens in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon. There were no reports of casualties.
Hours later, Israeli planes carried out a series of airstrikes on four military sites owned by Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza. Videos on social media showed plumes of smoke and fire rising from targeted camps in the central and northern Gaza Strip and eastern Gaza City.
No Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, but the Israeli army blamed Hamas.
An Israeli military incursion into the West Bank early Friday, in which three Palestinian militants were killed and eight wounded, may have triggered the rocket attack from Gaza.
Also on Friday, an Israeli observation balloon crashed and fell in the northern Gaza Strip. The Israeli army said it was investigating the incident, but clarified that the balloon was not shot down by Palestinian militants.
The Israeli army has been conducting almost daily raids into the occupied West Bank since a series of attacks earlier this year killed 19 people in Israel. Many of the arrest raids have been carried out in and around Jenin, the hometown of several of the attackers.