Qassam rocket (archives)
Photo: Ze'ev Trachtman
Rocket, mortars land in Negev
Saturday artillery attacks include Qassam that falls near Sderot, activating Color Red alert, as well as two mortar shells that fall in open spaces. No injuries or damage reported
A Qassam rocket exploded Saturday morning in an open area near the southern town of Sderot. Later two mortar shells landed in open spaces in the Negev. There were no reports of injuries or damage in either case.


The Color Red alert system was activated in Sderot and the western Negev at 11:03 am. The residents, who are well accustomed to the daily rocket alerts, entered the reinforced rooms. Western Negev residents reported of an explosion heard near the city.


"Fortunately the rocket did not land inside the city," Yehuda Ben Maman, Sderot's security officer, told Ynet.


Two Qassams fired from northern Gaza in the late hours of Friday morning landed in western Negev region. There were no reports of injuries or damage.


One rocket landed in an open area near a kibbutz located with the Eshkol Regional Council's limits, while the other landed near the security fence separating Israel from the Hamas-controlled enclave.


Despite the ongoing fire, Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday approved the transfer of NIS 100 million (about $25.7 million) from banks in the West Bank to banks in the Gaza Strip. The decision was made as per the requests of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer in light of the cash shortage in the Strip, which led to the closing of Gaza's banks.


The same day, Barak met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to discuss ways to respond to the ongoing rocket fire from Gaza. During the discussion, Olmert asked the two to keep the Israeli army and defense establishment out of the political discourse during the election campaign, on the backdrop of the disputes between Barak and Livni.


First published: 13.12.08, 12:00
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