Non-stop fire
Photo: AP
4 Qassams land in Negev; child suffers shock
One Qassam lands near school, another causes damage to factory in Sderot. IDF responds to rocket attack by hitting launcher used to fire Qassams

Four Qassam rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip Tuesday afternoon and evening. One of the rockets exploded at a school in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council near a field where a soccer practice was being held.


One of the children attending the practice suffered shock and was transferred to Sderot for further treatment.


One of the rockets' landing sites (Photo: Zeev Trachtman)


Another rocket landed near a factory in Sderot and caused damage at the place. The two other rockets landed in open fields near kibbutzim in the area, causing no injuries or damage.


Noam Yisrael, 14, told Ynet: "I was just getting off the bus and approaching the field where younger kids were playing when the alert system went off. Everybody ran to the portable shelters nearby. I ran with them and then we heard a very loud explosion. We realized the rocket had landed right next to us.


"It was really frightening. The younger kids were really scared," he added.


Four Qassam rockets landed Tuesday morning in open areas within the Eshkol Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage. In response, Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the defense establishment to close the crossings to Gaza and stop the planned transfer of aid into the Strip.


The rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip at the Gaza vicinity communities at around 8:45 am. Residents reported hearing loud explosions.


The Islamic Jihad's military wing, the al-Quds Brigades, claimed responsibility for Tuesday morning's rocket fire in response to an earlier incident, in which 23-year-old al-Quds Brigades commander Jihad Nawahahda of the village of al-Yamon was killed in an exchange of fire with Israel Defense Forces soldiers.


In 2007 over 1,200 rockets and 600 mortar shells were fired towards the western Negev. As 2008 comes to a close, 2,900 rockets have so far been fired at Israel.


Despite a relative lull during July and August, during which an average of five rockets and six mortar shells were launched each month, November saw a steep escalation in violence, with 148 rockets and an additional 85 mortar shells documented.


First published: 16.12.08, 17:42
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