Three Qassams were fired from north Gaza Wednesday evening toward Israeli territory. One of the rockets, which was apparently aimed at the industrial zone in southern Ashkelon, fell in the sea.
Two more Qassams landed in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council area, ut no injuries were reported. Blasts were also heard in Sderot.
At around noon another Qassam landed in the Negev area, but caused no injuries or damage. According to Islamic Jihad sources, the rocket was of a medium-range "Quds" type.
Many residents protested the fact that the “Color Red” alert system was not activated. “We were watching TV with the kids when a load blast was heard and the house shook,” Sderot resident Rina Mor-Yosef told Ynet.
“The alert system which can save lives didn’t work, but nothing is being done about it.”
In addition, dozens of employees of a Sderot factory demonstrated against the dismissal of nine of the factory’s workers; the protesters planned to block the Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem Highway, but had to cancel due to the harsh weather conditions.
“We expect the government to prevent the employees’ dismissal,” one resident said. “At the end of the day it’s all about the security situation in the city. The feeling is that we are abandoned – there is no work, but there is also no response to the rocket attacks; we have become cannon fodder.
Meanwhile, relief spread throughout Sderot on Wednesday as doctors at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon declared that after a nightlong series of operations they have managed to stabilize the condition of 14-year old Adir Basad who was critically wounded from the rocket attack on Tuesday.
'Israel responding to Palestinian violations'
Doctors also said that the condition of Matan Cohen, the second teenager who was wounded, continues to be moderate. The hospital stated that doctors were able to save Cohen's leg from complete amputation.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz on Wednesday ordered the IDF to act only against cells launching Qassam rockets into Israel from Gaza.
The decision to break from the current policy of restraint follows an emergency security meeting with military and security officials convened by the PM early Wednesday morning.
It was decided in the meeting that Israel would act against the rocket cells while simultaneously maintaining the ceasefire and acting with the Palestinian Authority in the hopes that they will take action to prevent the rocket attacks emanating from their territory.
Over the past few days terror groups in Gaza have intensified their rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, this despite the fact that Israel agreed to the ceasefire and has refrained from responding to Palestinian violations of it over the past month," said a statement issued by the PM's office.