IDF attacks as Qassams land in Sderot
Five rockets land in wetsern Negev on Sunday morning; one hits empty house, seven people suffer from shock. On Saturday night, IAF attacks Qassam launching cell, car carrying Hamas members and rocket-manufacturing facility. Palestinians report four dead, including 15-year-old boy
More than 100 rockets have hit the western Negev since the start of the escalation in the south about five days ago.
Five rockets landed in the western Negev on Sunday morning, one of them hitting an empty house. There were no reports of injuries. A Qassam exploded in the entrance to the city, causing a traffic jam. Seven residents suffered from shock.
Eight rockets were fired at the western Negev Saturday night. No one was injured in any of the attacks, although several caused damages. One of the rockets caused damage to a building. Four rockets landed in open areas. Another rocket hit a power line, and two more landed inside Sderot.
A slight drop in the number of Qassams was noted on Saturday, apparently due to the ongoing military activity in the Gaza Strip and the pressure exerted by the Air Force on terror activists.
Direct hit (Photo: AP)
Meanwhile, an IDF soldier was wounded from shrapnel earlier in the afternoon, after an antitank missile hit the military bulldozer that he was operating near the border fence in the northern Gaza strip. He was taken to hospital for medical treatment. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, claimed responsibility for the attack.
After the launchings, IDF aircraft carried out a series of attacks in Gaza and Palestinians reported four people killed as a result. One of the casualties, according to Palestinian claims, was a 15-year-old they said was not involved in Qassam attacks.
The army said it had targeted a cell which had just launched a rocket towards an Israeli kibbutz.
Sappers handle remains of rocket in field outside Sderot on Saturday (Photo: Avi Rokach)
Three additional Palestinians were killed in a strike against their car as they were traveling north. The army said the men in the vehicle were Hamas members transporting a load of weapons. Two additional strikes were carried out against Hamas weapons workshops in Gaza City and the northern town of Beit Lahiya.
IDF sources estimated that more than 30 terror activists had been killed in the Strip since the start of the activity in the area.
Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal called on the government to declare the area of Sderot an emergency war zone while security assessments led officials to shut down the city's schools on Sunday.
The political-security cabinet will convene Sunday afternoon for another discussion on the southern front. Most cabinet ministers, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, oppose a ground operation in the Strip.
Ali Waked and Yael Branovsky contributed to the report