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Qassam rocket (archives) Photo: Amir Cohen
Qassam rocket (archives) Photo: Amir Cohen
 
 

Grads fired at Beersheba; IAF strikes Gaza

Fragile truce shaken as Gaza terrorists fire rockets at Negev communities. Iron Dome intercepts two projectiles; IAF retaliates with strike on east Strip terror hub

Yoav Zitun
Latest Update: 03.15.12, 00:09 / Israel News

The IAF targeted a Gaza Strip terror hubs Wednesday night. The strike came in response to rocket fire on southern Israel. The IDF confirmed that the pilots hit their marks – a rocket launching site and a terror tunnel.

 

Wednesday evening saw Strip-based terrorists fire three Grad rockets at Israel's Negev communities. The Iron Dome defense system intercepted two projectiles, while a third exploded on the city's outskirts.

 

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Beersheba's air raid siren sounded moments beforehand. No injuries or damage were reported, but local Magen David Adom emergency services were called to treat several people for shock.

 

Palestinian sources reported that the strike took place in the east Gaza neighborhood of Zeitun. No injuries were reported.

 

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A political source told Ynet that "at this time Israel will not respond to rockets fired at the south since the ceasefire took effect," adding that "After each round of escalations we see what is known as the 'tail' – a few hours during which there is still some fire, as if to show that they have the last word.

 

"The situation is still within Israel's containment. We're following the situation closely," the source added.

 

Still, following the renewed rocket fire the Beersheba Department of Education has decided to suspend Thursday's school day.

 

The decision was echoed by several other municipalities in the south, including Ashdod, Ashkelon, Kiryat Gat, Kiryat Malachi and Gan Yavne.

 

Earlier Wednesday, a mortar shell was fired from Gaza Strip at Israel, but exploded on the Palestinian side of the border. Shortly beforehand, a Color Red alert sounded in Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council.

 

GOC Southern Command Major-General Tal Russo said he does not know how long the lull would last: "We are preparing for all options in case the calm is disrupted," he said during a visit to a high school in the southern town of Omer. "There are many elements and organizations in Gaza. Now it's quiet but we are preparing for the possibility of other scenarios," he added.

 

Maj-Gen Russo stressed that the IDF did not use all the tools in its possession during the latest round of fighting. "There is no magic solution to the rocket fire from Gaza. There might be situations in which we would need to launch a larger operation," he warned.

 

However, the southern command chief noted, "Another round of fighting won't bring the ultimate solution and everything is still on the table."

 

Neri Brenner, Elior Levy, Attila Somfalvi and Ilana Curiel contributed to this report 

 

 

 

 

First Published: 03.14.12, 17:31

 

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