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Palestinians in West Bank try to fire rocket at Israeli town, for 7th time in months

Palestinians in the northern West Bank attempted to launch a homemade rocket at a nearby Israeli town on Sunday morning, the latest in a series of mostly unsuccessful attempts.

It was at least the 7th attempt by a group calling itself the al-Ayyash Battalion — apparently named for a notorious Hamas bombmaker killed by Israel — to fire rockets at Israeli towns and West Bank settlements in recent months.

The group said it had launched a rocket from the Jenin area at the Israeli town of Ram-On, adjacent to the northern West Bank security barrier.

A video published by the group on the Telegram messaging service showed a projectile mounted on a launcher before the video cut to show the rocket flying through the air.

There were no reports of damage or injuries as a result of the launch. It was unclear how far the projectile flew.

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Palestinian media outlets reported that Palestinian Authority police found the launch site.

The Jenin-based al-Ayyash Battalion claims to have launched a rocket from the northern West Bank toward the Israeli town of Ram-On. No reports of damage. IDF investigating. pic.twitter.com/w889bMFGe3

— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) September 10, 2023

The Israel Defense Forces was investigating the incident.

Following the attempted attack, the head of the Gilboa Regional Council demanded that the Iron Dome air defense system be deployed to the area.

“The IDF is well aware of the incident, and according to the update we received from the security forces, that rocket did not land in Israeli territory, and most likely exploded in PA territory,” Oved Nur said in a statement.

“As we have said again and again, there is a significant and urgent need to reinforce security and protection measures for the Gilboa towns in general, and those near the fence in particular. We demand to deploy an Iron Dome in our area and to act proactively in the [Palestinian] Authority’s territory to reduce the motivation to harm the citizens of the country,” he added.

Al-Ayyash Battalion has claimed to have launched several rockets at settlements and towns in northern Israel in recent months, publishing footage of the attempts.

أجهزة أمن السلطة تضبط منصة لإطلاق الصاروخ الذي أطلق على مستوطنة "رام أون" قرب جنين. pic.twitter.com/6WZOQ5pry3

— وكالة شهاب للأنباء (@ShehabAgency) September 10, 2023

The group’s rocket launching attempts have largely failed, with the rockets containing no explosives and flying mostly distances of less than 100 meters (328 feet), according to the IDF. However, on July 9, security forces found the remains of a rocket in Ram-On, indicating that terrorists in the Jenin area possess the capability to launch rockets for further distances than initially assessed.

Last week, Israeli troops arrested a member of the Hamas terror group in the Jenin refugee camp accused of being involved in the rocket launching attempts.

During a major IDF raid in Jenin in July, the military said troops located and seized a makeshift rocket, among other weapons.

In May, Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar said security forces had foiled attempts by Palestinians in the northern West Bank to manufacture rockets to be launched at Israel. Bar said the efforts were led by a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader who was killed by Israel in the Gaza Strip during a five-day flareup in violence that month.