Three Qassam rockets were fired early Wednesday from north Gaza toward the western Negev area. No injuries or damage were reported.
One rocket landed in an open field near Sderot, while two additional Qassams landed in the Karmiya and Zikim areas, south of Ashkelon.
IDF forces responded to the attacks with artillery fire; three Palestinians were injured in the north Gaza town of Beit Lahiya; one of those hurt was an ambulance crew member who arrived at the scene to assist two women, members of the same family, who were hurt from the IDF fire.
According to Palestinian sources, one of the women lost several fingers when she was struck by shrapnel. The sources added that lately the IDF has been targeting civilian homes in Gaza, adding that two residents, aged 55 and 60, were killed in an IDF attack this week.
Army officials denied that the two died as a result of IDF fire. The Palestinians also reported of a number of children who were hurt this past week in IDF attacks.
‘Israel not a terror state’
Meanwhile, in Ashkelon residents are irate over the continuous Qassam attacks, but also over the army’s retaliation. In a letter to Defense Minister Amir Peretz Ashkelon Mayor Roni Mehatzri said “as a resident of the area you are surely aware of the intolerable security situation here. On the one hand there are the Qassams and on the other there is the noise of IDF artillery fire toward Gaza, which does not permit a normal daily life in the area. I ask that you act in every way possible to stop the Qassam fire and instruct the army to act in a manner that will allow us to lead a normal life.”
“I would appreciate it if you would visit the city soon to observe the situation of the city’s residents and factories from up close.
On Tuesday Chief of Staff Dan Halutz told Ashkelon Academic College students to be patient.
“I cannot offer you a timetable for a solution to the problem (Qassam attacks) because it takes time, but we also have capabilities,” he said.
“The implementation of these capabilities demands that we cross lines that we do not want to cross; we do not want to fire into population centers (in Gaza), and unfortunately they (Palestinian terrorists) are taking advantage of the fact that we are not a terror state and never will be. However, we have the option, should the need arise, of a ground operation.”
Ali Waked contributed to the report