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Photo: Yariv Katz, Yedioth Ahronoth
Rockets fired at south
Brittle ceasefire rattled again as four projectiles are fired at southern cities. Grad fired as Ashdod intercepted by missile defense system; Qassams hit Eshkol, Hof Ashkelon

The fragile armistice between Israel and the Gaza terror groups was stretched further on Thursday night as several rockets were fired at western Negev communities from the Strip.

 

Gaza terrorists fired a Grad rocket at Ashdod, which was intercepted by a nearby Iron Dome battery. Moments later Qassam rockets hit open areas in Eshkol Regional Council and the outskirts of Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported in either case.

 

A fourth rocket fired from Gaza overnight Friday landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council. There were no reports of injury or damage.  

 

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Later Thursday night, Palestinian source in Gaza Strip reported that Air Force helicopters fired at an open area in the Sudaniya neighborhood in the Strip's northwest, as well as east of Gaza City.

 

Other reports said that Israel Navy ships fired at the Gaza coast. No injuries were reported.

 

Rocket interception above Ashdod

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Thursday morning saw a Gaza-launched rocket explode in an open area near Netivot. Several hours later a Grad rocket fired at Beersheba was intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

  

The IDF refrained from targeting any terror hubs in the Strip Thursday, following a request from Egypt to temper its response in order "not to lose proportions" and allow the ceasefire time to take effect.

 

A political source told Ynet Wednesday 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 escalation 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.

 

Following the sporadic rocket fire and mounting security concerns, several municipalities, including Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheba, Ofakim and Gan Yavne announced that they intend to suspend Friday's school day.

 

Educational institutions will remain open in Hof Ashkelon and Shaar Hanegev regional councils and in Kiryat Malachi. The University of Ben Gurion will also remain open.

 

 

Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report

 

 

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First published: 15.03.12, 20:59
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