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Three rockets fired from Gaza into Israel, army says

Uptick in rocket fire and Palestinian attempts to cross from Gaza into Israel have been met with Israeli strikes, threatening ceasefire between Israel and Hamas
Battery of Israel's Iron Dome defence system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells (AFP)

Three rockets were launched towards Israel from the Gaza Strip on Sunday evening. Two were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system, the Israeli army said.

"Three launches were identified from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory," it said in a statement. "Two of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defence system," AFP quoted it as saying.

The third rocket landed in an open area near Highway 34 in the south, sparking a fire, Haaretz said. Emergency services arrived at the scene to extinguish the flames, the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council said, adding that no injuries or damage were caused.

This is the fourth incident of rocket fire being aimed at Israel in the past two weeks.

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Last Thursday, two rockets were fired towards Israel and landed in open areas. The Israel Air Force struck Hamas targets in Gaza in retaliation, Haaretz said.

Since the start of August, an uptick in rocket fire and Palestinian attempts to cross from Gaza into Israel have been met with Israeli strikes, threatening a fragile ceasefire between Israel and the coastal enclave's rulers Hamas.

A concert organised as part of a music festival in the town of Sderot was interrupted by sirens, a spokesperson for the municipality said.

With less than a month to go before Israeli elections, analysts say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is keen to avoid a flare-up despite his rivals calling for tough action against Hamas.

The movement has not claimed the latest rocket fire or infiltration attempts, but speculation has grown that fighters in the blockaded enclave are hoping to pressure him into further concessions under a truce deal.

Israel and Palestinian fighters in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008.