Palestinian reaction? A Qassam rocket launched at 10 a.m. on Wednesday from northern Gaza landed in the center of the southern town of Sderot, where it hit an empty store in the commercial center.
A woman was lightly injured and was evacuated to the Barzilai Medical Center. Several people in the area were treated for shock by Magen David Adom crews.
Five rockets were launched Wednesday morning, most of them landing in open areas without resulting casualties – near Sderot, adjacent to a kibbutz in the Eshkol area in the Negev and next to the Sufa crossing.
The rocket landed not far from the store of Sasson Sara, one of Sderot's well-know residents. Following the incident, a sort of "resident parliament" took place opposite the store. Police and security forces were dispatched to the area.
Area of attack in Sderot (Photo: Amir Cohen)
Sara told Ynet: "This is the first time a rocket lands so close. People here just started running all over the place without knowing where. They were totally hysterical. I gave people water and the atmosphere here is very difficult. The commercial activity here is hardly existent as it is. Before the rocket fell I didn’t manage to sell a thing, and now there is no chance at all."
"I still believe that everything happening here is only in preparation for what is scheduled to take place here soon. We think Beit Hanoun should be erased," he added.
Moments after the incident, Israel Defense Forces soldiers hit three Palestinian gunmen in the northern Gaza Strip after the group fired a missile at the force.
Noam Amram who was in the area reported: "I parked my car in the center of town and as I started walking, I suddenly heard the siren from the Color Red alert system. Before I had time to get to a fortified area, there was a loud explosion."
Damage in empty store (Photo: Amir Cohen)
"The rocket landed inside a store, causing damage. Had it landed in the store next door, people would have been killed…Many people were in the center of town at the time and many are very angry now," he said.
'IDF must not leave Gaza'
"The whole point of the military operation is unclear to us. They went in and immediately came back out. Why did they leave? They must not leave."
"There's a big panic and, in their opinion, things have crossed the line. The reaction will not be restrained to local rage."
Ofir Griezer, a 25 year old resident of Sderot told Ynet: "I live in the center of town and I was sitting in my room when I heard the sirens. Ten seconds later, there was a large explosion, because the rocket landed next to my house."
"I saw smoke from my window. Sadly, we're already used to such things here," he recounted.
On Wednesday afternoon, another Qassam rocket was fired at Israel from the northern Gaza Strip. The rocket landed in the sea off the coast of Asheklon, without causing any damage or injuries.
Wednesday morning, a day after the IDF declared an end to Operation Autumn Clouds in Beit Hanoun, 19 people were killed and several injured from artillery fire in the city.
According to Palestinian reports, some of the shells landed on residences, killing a number of civilians, 13 of them from one family. Seven children and four women were among the casualties.
Meital Tzur contributed to the report