Rocket warning sirens sound in southern Israel

Rocket warning sirens sounded late Friday in the Eshkol region near the Gaza border, with Palestinian media reporting several rockets had been fired at Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces said it was investigating. Residents reported hearing several explosions.

The sirens came hours after Qatar’s envoy to Gaza said that efforts to send aid from his country to the Gaza Strip, including to employees of the Hamas government, were off after the Palestinian Authority backed out of the deal.

Qatar pledged $500 million for Gaza following the May 10-21 conflict that saw heavy bombardments in the Strip and intense rocket fire into Israel.

The collapse of the deal was expected to further inflame tensions between Israel and Hamas, which has frequently stepped up provocations in a bid to pressure Israel to allow in money.

The sirens also came after Israel announced it had caught two Islamic Jihad fugitives who had escaped the Gilboa prison on Monday, along with four other inmates.

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