Gaza rocket into Israel breaks 2-month lull

JERUSALEM — Palestinian militants fired a rocket into southern Israel early Saturday, shattering a two-month lull that prevailed along Gaza-Israel fence in contrast to soaring tensions in the West Bank.

The Israeli military said aerial defense systems intercepted the projectile, which activated warning sirens in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon. There were no reports of casualties.

No Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the rocket fire. Israel usually blames the militant Hamas group for any violence emanating from the coastal enclave it controls.

Also on Friday, an Israeli observation balloon crashed and fell in northern Gaza Strip. The Israeli military said it investigates the incident, but clarified the balloon was not downed by Palestinian militants.

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