Three rockets were fired from Gaza towards Beersheba and Ofakim early on Monday afternoon, two of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. The third exploded in an open area. No injuries or damage were reported.
Earlier Monday, two Grad rockets that were meant for Beersheba exploded in open areas, while a third was intercepted. The Islamic Jihad's
military wing claimed responsibility for the attacks.
"We live in a jungle and the rules of the game are unclear," Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich told Ynet. "The Strip has no leadership. Each terror cell acts of its own accord. Today it's the south that dealing with the situation, but we know that there are missiles that could reach Rishon Lezion."
He urged the State to restore the calm by any means necessary, and called on residents to abide by Home Front Command safety instructions.
"The Iron Dome doesn’t have a 100% success rate," he said. "We cannot hermetically seal the skies."
Meanwhile, GOC Home Front Command Major General Eyal Eisenberg held a situation assessment with Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin. Some 14 rockets have been fired towards the city over the past few days.
Eisenberg said he anticipate the tension to last for days.
"We have the necessary endurance, and it all depends on what the other side does," he said. "Everyone must understand that if Ashkelon doesn't return to normal, Gaza won't either. The other side has the capability and the tools to restore the calm, because we are a people that always seek peace."
He also urged residents to avoid stepping out to watch the Iron Dome's rocket interceptions, warning that shrapnel could be a major hazard.
Beersheba and Ashkelon were not the only cities on high alert; the Iron Dome intercepted three rockets that were fired towards Ashdod around 10 am, while two exploded in open areas. Shrapnel from the intercepted rockets damaged homes in the city.
In total, Gaza terrorists fired more than a dozen rockets at Negev communities Monday.
Color Red alerts and air raid sirens sounded frequently across the entire southern sector, from the Gaza vicinity communities and Sderot, to Beersheba, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Gan Yavne; followed by the sounds of exploding projectiles.
Israel Air Force jets targeted several terror cells in the Gaza Strip overnight and Monday morning. The IDF aid the pilots reported hitting their marks.
Neri Brenner contributed to the report