Ashkelon's resident woke up Monday morning to the sound of a rocket alert siren. Moments later, at around 7 am, explosions were heard in the area.
One rocket hit a southern neighborhood in the seaside city and another in the Ashkelon National Park south of the city. The first rocket landed near an elementary school in an area where several schools and kindergartens are located. One woman suffered from shock and several houses sustained damage.
Haim Asokar, who lives nearby, told Ynet, "I was just making coffee on my way to leave the house. We heard the siren, but we have no fortification here and our bomb shelter is closed. I then heard a very loud explosion. The entire house shook.
"My mother, who looked out the window, noticed something flying right in front of her and falling near the building. A great miracle occurred here, although had the rocket landed several minutes later, children would have already arrived in the area and many people would have been walking around here."
Sappers remove rocket from building (Photo: Amir Cohen)
Ashkelon Deputy Mayor Avi Vaaknin was not surprised by the rocket attack.
"We estimated that Hamas
and the terror organizations would continue firing at Ashkelon. We can't accept this situation. This is a city with 120,000 residents. There are tourism and real estate businesses here which can be damaged if this rocket fire continues. The government must act in order to prevent a situation similar to what is happening in Sderot," he said.
Meanwhile, the Palestinians reported that the Israel Defense Forces had fired at least 10 shells into the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya.
Residents near rocket landing spot (Photo: Amir Cohen)
On Sunday afternoon, Palestinian gunmen fired
two Qassam rockets at the western Negev. One of the rockets landed at the parking lot of Sapir College, causing a woman to suffer shock and damaging some vehicles.
The other rocket landed in Sderot near a bus carrying schoolchildren.
Three children suffered shock and were treated by Magen David Adom paramedics. The bus' windows were shattered and a fire broke out nearby. The Islamic Jihad's military wing, the al-Quds Brigades, claimed responsibility for the shooting.
The rocket fire at southern Israel has renewed in the afternoon after several hours of relative calm. At about 2 pm a Qassam landed in an open field outside Sderot, causing no injuries or damage. The attack on Sapir came about an hour later.