Palestinian militants fired a mortar round from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday narrowly missing a kindergarten in a kibbutz in southern Israel, the military said, as Jews prepared to mark their New Year.
There were no casualties or damage from the mortar fire against the collective settlement several kilometres (a few miles) from Gaza’s northeastern border with Israel.
“A mortar shell fired from the Gaza Strip fell near a nursery school in a kibbutz in the Shaar HaNegev region,” a spokeswoman said. “There were no injuries or damage.”
It was the third such incident of rocket fire in as many days and came as Israel imposed a precautionary closure on the Palestinian territories ahead of celebrations for Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashana, which starts at sundown.
Israel frequently closes the main transit points into the West Bank during major holidays, although Gaza, which was seized by the radical Islamist Hamas movement in 2007, is under a permanent blockade.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Palestinian Authority said it had arrested an unspecified number of Hamas activists believed to be responsible for two shooting attacks in the West Bank last week, one of which left four Jewish settlers dead.
The first attack, which took place near the settlement of Kiryat Arba in the southern city of Hebron, killed four, including a pregnant woman. A second shooting attack near Ramallah wounded another two people.
The shootings occurred as Israeli and Palestinian leaders were in Washington for the relaunch of direct talks after a 20-month break.
Hamas, which is vehemently opposed to the talks, claimed responsibility for both shooting attacks.