Five rockets were fired at the southern town at around 8 pm.Two landed south of Ashkelon, one landed in Sderot and two in the western Negev.
An hour and a half later, three additional rockets were fired from Gaza, landing near one of the kibbutzim in the western Negev. Two more rockets were fired at around 10:30 pm. There were no reports of injuries.
The woman killed in the attack suffered from injuries to her limbs and stomach. She was evacuated by a Magen David Adom crew to the Barzilay Medical Center in Ashkelon, where she died from her wounds.
Another man injured by shrapnel was also evacuated to hospital. Twelve people were treated for shock.
The rocket landed very close to the commercial center. Most business owners had closed their shops for a meeting on the situation.
Car hit near commercial center (Photo: AFP)
The Salah al-Din Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committees' military wing, claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks. About 17 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip since Monday morning.
Sderot residents said that the rocket alert system was not activated before the rockets landed in the city.
Tova Malka, the secretary of Mayor Eli Moyal, was at the landing site. "I left work and arrived at the center in order to drop off a good friend. He just got off and I continued driving, when I suddenly heard an explosion. My head flew forward and I hit it," she said.
Residents gather at landing site (Photo: AFP)
Another resident, Moshe Shaubi, said, "I passed by to buy shoes. I saw my nephew exactly at the place where the rocket later fell. I shouted at him, 'Are you crazy? Don't hang around here.' Suddenly I heard an explosion. The rocket hit exactly when a woman passed by the car which was directly hit. I saw her and she was severely hurt in her legs."
Residents riot following attack
Dozens of Sderot residents demonstrated in the center of the city following the fatal rocket attack. The protestors clashed with police as the convoy of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana passed by.
During the clashes, the protestors hurled stones at the municipality building. Dozens of youths tried to break into the building, and when they realized the door was locked, they smashed a large vase on it. A number of workers were trapped in the building.
Sderot residents clash with police (Photo: AFP)
Yosef Timsit, whose wife Colette was seriously injured in a rocket attack last week, fainted during the demonstration.
"I came to Sderot from the hospital. I heard on the news that a woman was killed. I have never taken part in demonstrations, but I am in pain and it’s my right to protest. I have nothing, I have no home, I have been sleeping in my car for a week.
"When one of the policemen kicked my son I felt pain in my chest and fainted. I admit, I wanted to hit the policeman so that he would arrest me, so that I could have a place to sleep tonight. I prefer to sleep in a detention cell and not in a car.
"I'm asking Arcadi Gaydamak to adopt my injured son and take care of him," he added.
The demonstrators chanted "death to the Arabs" and held signs calling for a "second Operation Defensive shield.
Another resident, Netanel Sarusi, said, "We don't want to be next. We have had enough. I have a 3-month-old daughter. We demand a Operation Defensive Shield in Gaza like the one they had in the West Bank."
On Monday afternoon, Palestinians fired three Qassam rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel. There were no reports of injuries.
One of the rockets landed near a gas station in the area, one hit a hothouse in a local community, starting a fire, and the third rocket landed in a kibbutz south of Sderot.
The Color Red alert system was activated in Sderot as students were taking their matriculation exam in English. Terrified parents called the schools in fear that a rocket may have hit an education institution.
On Monday morning, three rockets were fired towards Israel. Two rockets landed near a kibbutz in the western Negev and the third exploded south of Ashkelon.
Shmulik Hadad contributed to the report