After a relatively quiet day in southern Israel,
at least four Qassam rockets were fired Wednesday evening from the Gaza Strip.
Two rockets landed shortly after 8 pm in the Sderot area, one of them inside the city. One woman suffered from shock. Another two rockets landed south of Asheklon, one of them killing a mare in Kibbutz Nir Am.
The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, claimed responsibility for firing a one of the rockets Wednesday evening.
The Brigades fired the rocket in spite of a meeting between Palestinain President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas
leaders in a bid to renew the truce with Israel.
The Salah al-Din Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committees' military wing, called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
to establish a new ministry called "the office for refugee affairs", to deal with Israelis fleeing Sderot.
The organization's spokesman, Abu Abir, told Ynet that "the rocket fire will continue and the escape of Sderot residents will also continue. Therefore, the Israeli government should deal with them and return them to the countries they came from."
Qassam launched from northern Strip (Photo: AFP)
Meanwhile, two IDF soldiers were lightly injured by gunshots in the northern Gaza Strip and were evacuated to the Barzilay Medical Center in Ashkelon. The shots were apparently fired by terrorists, but the army is also looking into the possibility that it was a "friendly fire" incident.
On Wednesday morning, one rocket landed
in an open area near Sderot. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
The rocket was launched at around 8:20 am, as many Sderot residents were attending Shavuot prayer services at local synagogues. The Color Red siren warned residents of the incoming rocket, and a loud explosion was heard throughout the city shortly thereafter.
On Tuesday, Palestinian fired nine Qassam rockets at the western Negev.
Meanwhile, the IDF continued its operation in Gaza. In a brief foray into the Strip, Israeli troops detained seven Palestinians
near the border area with Israel early Wednesday. All of the detainees were later released.
Military sources confirmed that soldiers had operated in the southern Strip and questioned a number of Palestinians, but decided not to arrest any of them. The sources noted that the operation was part of the IDF's activities against terror organizations.
According to Palestinian officials, a large IDF force entered the Khan Younis area in south Gaza, from which Qassam rockets are regularly fired toward Israel. The troops searched a number of homes, took over several buildings and gathered dozens of men at the Huza’a neighborhood.
The officials claimed that the detainees are all members of one family and do not belong to any terror group.
Tova Dadon and Ali Waked contributed to the report