Rocket fired from Gaza strikes near southern Israeli city

A long-range rocket fired from Gaza struck an uninhabited area outside the largest city in southern Israel on Thursday, Israeli police said. The rocket was a long-range Grad capable of reaching Israel’s heartland, according to Israeli Army Radio. Rocket alert sirens sounded in Beersheba, a city of 200,000 inhabitants some 40km from the Gaza Strip, for the first time since the last war in 2014. Police found the remnants in an open area on the outskirts of Beersheba, saying that that no one was hurt. The attack was seen as a show of force and defiance by Palestinian militants ahead of a meeting of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet, where terms for a possible truce were likely to be on the agenda, Reuters said. A Palestinian official said earlier on Thursday that armed factions in Gaza were prepared to halt a round of rocket attacks on southern Israel.