Five people were injured when a Grad shrapnel hit a vehicle at the entrance to the city of Ofakim on Sunday. The wounded include a couple and their 2-year-old daughter who were in the car, a man in his 50s and a young man. Two sustained moderate wounds and the rest were lightly injured.
They were rushed to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba. Earlier, a Grad hit a house in Ofakim. A woman was lightly injured, and several people suffered from anxiety. Since midnight, more than 100 rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Itzik Alfasi, a Magen David Adom official said, "There were two landings – one rocket hit a house and the other landed near the car. The injuries were mainly caused by Grad shrapnel, after the parents and the toddler ran out of the car to seek shelter."
Wounded rushed to hospital (Photo: Herzl Yosef)
Meanwhile, the Air Force bombed the house of Yahia Abia, the head of Hamas' rocket unit. Abia was killed in the attack and the Palestinians are reporting that four other people were also killed, including three women.
Abia was responsible for the major part of the rocket fire directed at Israel in the past few days. He was killed roughly an hour after a heavy rocket barrage hit Israel's south. The strike was part of the IDF's expanded activity in Gaza.
Car damaged in Ofakim (Photo: Eliad Levy)
At least 18 rockets were fired from Gaza within minutes at Israel's southern communities Sunday afternoon. At least two rockets exploded in Ashdod and caused damage to cars. A number of residents suffered from anxiety. There were no immediate reports of injury or damage. Residential buildings in Ashdod, Beersheba and Ofakim sustained direct hits.
Shortly after 2 pm sirens sounded in a large number of southern communities from Ashdod to Beersheba. Some 70 rockets have been fired at Israel on Sunday. The Iron Dome system intercepted at least 17 of them.
Earlier, two rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists toward Beersheba exploded in close proximity to residential buildings. There were no reports of injury, but several apartments were damaged. The Iron Dome system intercepted additional rockets that were fired toward the city. Meanwhile, a house in Sderot sustained a direct hit, but it was empty at the time of the attack.
Video courtesy of jn1.tv
Also Sunday, a rescue service worker in his 20s sustained moderate head wounds when a mortar fired from Gaza landed in the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council. Earlier Sunday, two rockets launched from Gaza landed in Ashkelon. One of the projectiles hit a four-storey building. Two people sustained light shrapnel wounds in the attack, and five others suffered from anxiety. The rocket penetrated the building through its roof.
Rocket intercepted over Ashdod
At approximately 10:30 am the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza toward the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. There were no immediate reports of injury, but a vehicle in the Holon area was damaged by shrapnel.
Early Sunday, the military carried out dozens of attacks on rocket-launching sites, a major training base and the two media centers. Israeli gunboats also fired on terrorist sites on the Gaza shore line, the military said without elaborating.
Grad hits Ofakim house (Photo: Eliad Levy)
Seven Palestinian civilians were killed in airstrikes Sunday, including five children ranging in age from one to 11, according to Ashraf al-Kidra, a Gaza health official.
Two of the children, a 3-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy, were from the same family and were killed by an airstrike on the three-story home in the town of Beit Lahiya. Hamas security officials said three missiles struck the house, owned by a Gaza family with links to militants' rocket squads. It was not known if any terrorists were in or near the house at the time of the strike.
Another strike targeted a Hamas terrorist in his car outside his home in the Shati refugee camp near Gaza City, but also killed an 11-year-old girl passing by at the time, al-Kidra said.
The deaths bring to 53 the number of Palestinians killed since the operation began on Wednesday. Twenty of the dead were civilians, and more than 400 civilians have been wounded, al-Kidra said. On the Israeli side, three civilians have been killed and more than 50 wounded by rocket fire.
Ilana Curiel, Neri Brenner, Yoav Zitun and Elior Levy contributed to this report