Photo: Amir Cohen
Qassam in Sderot (Archive)
Photo: Amir Cohen
Photo: Eli Elgarat
Defense Minister Peretz (center). 'Civilian casualties unpreventable'
Photo: Eli Elgarat
Gaza blast Tuesday
Photo: Reuters

Qassam lands near strategic facility

After two days of calm, Qassam once again fired at Israel, lands near security-sensitive facility in industrial zone south of Ashkelon. Rocket explodes in open area, causing no injuries or damage

A Qassam rocket fired Wednesday afternoon from the northern Gaza Strip landed near a strategic site in Ashkelon's industrial zone, police say.


The rocket exploded in an open field outside the facility. There were no reports of damage or injuries.


"The alarm was set off when the security officers received a warning through their beepers. We entered secured areas, situated under cement blocks which we recently delivered to the facility. We stayed there for two minutes until we were instructed to leave. We heard an explosion in the area, and we then returned to work," an employee recounted.  


At the beginning of the week, a Qassam landed in Ashkelon's industrial zone, and hit one of the factories in the area. Some damage was caused to the plant, but no injuries were reported in the incident.


Short break


Residents of Sderot and communities in the western Negev enjoyed relative calm as the number of Qassam rockets fired at Israel fell after a week of daily barrages.


But despite the improvement in the situation, dozens of residents have kept up a protest tent outside the house of Defense Minister Amir Peretz.


A senior Israel Defense Forces officer told the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee of three military solutions to rocket attacks: Targeting the infrastructure, occupying launch pads in the northern Gaza Strip, and continue undercover operations against Qassam cells.


Gaza blasts stir controversy


Meanwhile, the storm set off by the killing of seven Palestinian civilians on a Gaza beach Friday continues to gain momentum, especially after Tuesday's air strike in a Gaza neighborhood left eight civilian casualties.


Defense Minister Amir Peretz and IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said it was impossible to prevent civilian casualties in Wednesday's strike because dozens of Palestinians gathered around a van hit and narrowly missed by a helicopter missile.


An army investigation of the incident on Gaza beach last week concluded that the deaths were not caused by an IDF shell. United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has cast doubt on the investigation, saying the army's claim that the explosion was caused by an explosives device buried in the sand is improbable.


פרסום ראשון: 06.14.06, 17:07
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