A rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel on Sunday night for the first time since the Nov. 21 cease-fire that ended the eight-day Operation Pillar of Defense. The rocket fell short of its target, however, and landed inside Gaza territory.
Army Radio reported that Israel Defense Forces officials said the rocket launch is not a sign of renewed escalation. The cease-fire with Hamas-controlled Gaza has secured silence for the past month and a decrease in smuggling. Hamas has demonstrated complete control over the many factions in Gaza and prevented the firing of rockets over Israel.
Meanwhile, a Gaza health official said two men were wounded by Israeli fire in the central Gaza Strip on Sunday.
The official, Ashraf al-Kidra, says Israeli forces fired at the men east of Deir al-Balah. Their identities were unclear. The official initially said the men had not been killed, but he said that the two were found seriously wounded.
The Israeli military had no immediate comment.
Also on Sunday, the British newspaper The Sunday Times reported that Iran instructed Hamas to awaken its sleeping cells in the West Bank to prepare for a new phase of violent struggle to promote Hamas' intention to dominate the region.
The article also said that officials from both IDF Intelligence and the Shin Bet explained that Hamas is trying to act as it did in 2007 in the Gaza Strip. Hamas staged a military coup in 2007, removing all Fatah rival factions from the government and taking complete control of the area.
During Sunday morning's cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to rumors that a Third Intifada is brewing in the West Bank. Netanyahu said that he is closely monitoring the situation. During a visit to IDF Central Command, he said, "We are committed to working in that sector, as in other sectors, to ensure the security of the State of Israel."