A rocket fired from the Gaza strip struck southern Israel Saturday, according to Israel's military.
The rocket landed in an open area near Ashkelon, a city about 10 miles from the border with Gaza, police and army officials said.
It was the third such incident in two weeks, raising concerns on both sides of the border of renewed escalation less than a year after Israel and
The renewed rocket fire poses a challenge to Israel, which has repeatedly vowed zero tolerance and a swift response. It also tests the Hamas rulers of the Gaza strip, locked in a power struggle with local militant Islamic State sympathizers who have claimed responsibility for two of the recent incidents.
Israel holds Hamas responsible for any fire originating from Gaza and has typically responded with air strikes against Hamas facilities, which are usually evacuated in advance.
At least two batteries of Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system were deployed in the south on Friday because of the increase in rocket fire, according to media reports.
Following Saturday's incident, Ashkelon mayor Itamar Shimoni cautioned that Israel's government was facing "the moment of truth" regarding Gaza.
"The calm we thought was restored after the war dissipated faster than we thought," he told reporters. Shimoni said residents would not be "held hostage" to internal Palestinian struggles and urged the government to curb the trickle of rocket fire before the situation deteriorated.