Palestinian gunmen continued to fire rockets toward Israel's western Negev region late Saturday night even after IDF ground forces entered
the Hamas-controlled territory in the framework of Operation Cast Lead.
Five rockets fired from the northern Strip landed in open areas within the Sdot Negev Regional Council's limits, but caused no injury or damage.
At around 4:50 am another Qassam landed in an open area within the Eshkol Regional Council's limits; no injuries or damage were reported.
"It is our estimation that the rocket fire on Israel will continue and perhaps even increase in the coming days," a military official said, adding that while Hamas is having difficulties manufacturing new rockets, it still has some stockpiled.
A total of 12 Qassam rockets hit the Sdot Negev area on Saturday; all of them landed in open fields and caused no injuries.
Sdot Negev Regional Council head Meir Yifrach told Ynet "we support the troops and pray that the operation will succeed and that they'll return home safely.
"We are awaiting the Home Front Command's instructions; the shelters have been prepared and we have placed the emergency teams on alert," he said.
Saturday also saw 16 Qassam rockets and 10 mortars fired toward the Eshkol Regional Council; no injuries or damage were reported. The council instructed residents to prepare for the possibility of a lengthy stay inside bomb shelters.
"All of the residents have prepared bags for a 48-hour stay in the shelters, but at this point everyone is still home," Council head Haim Yalin said.
Saturday evening, a woman was lightly injured by a Qassam rocket that directly hit
a home in the southern town of Netivot.
The woman sustained shrapnel wounds to her leg and was evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.
Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report