A rocket that was launched Thursday afternoon directly hit a house in the town of Sderot, setting fire to the place. One person was lightly injured by shrapnel and two others suffered from shock.
One of the residents who lives in the area said: "We heard an explosion and saw smoke billowing over the house. This area has sustained quite a few Qassam hits."
Meanwhile, two IDF soldiers who were injured during the army's operation in Beit Hanoun were evacuated to the Barzilay Hospital in Ashkelon.
Several Qassam rockets were fired Thursday morning from northern Gaza Strip and landed in open fields near Sufa Crossing, the town of Sderot and kibbutzim in the Western Negev.
No injuries were reported in the attacks. Two of the rockets fell close to the fences surrounding two kibbutzim, causing some damage to cables in the ground.
Prior to the launching of Operation Autumn Cloud in the Strip two days ago, army officials predicted that the operations will temporarily enhance the Qassam fire from Gaza. Seven rockets landed in and around Sderot Wednesday, causing several injuries and some damage.
However, army officials believe that in the long run, the infrastructure for rocket attacks will sustain significant damage.
'Terrorists using civilians as human shields'
The IDF continued to operate in the Beit Hanoun area in Gaza Thursday, in the framework of Operation Autumn Clouds, which was launched Wednesday. The Palestinians said four people were killed in the area since the morning hours.
According to the reports, two youths aged 20 and 22 were shot to death, after military forces killed earlier two people – a 75 year-old man and a 15 year-old youth.
However, IDF officials said they had no reports of the youth and the elderly man said to have been killed. "The IDF's activity is aimed solely against gunmen, and according to an inquiry we conducted, such incident were not reported," an official said.
Nevertheless, the sources added that the gunmen were constantly using civilians as human shields, and that therefore – had there been any harm caused to innocent passersby, the responsibility for this lies with the terror groups.