Qassam rocket in Sderot
Photo: AFP
Evacuating wounded soldier from Zikim
Photo: Amir Cohen
7 Qassams land in Israel
No injuries as terror groups launch volley at Sderot. Area residents worry that relative quiet is prelude to storm, area still under military jurisdiction

Palestinian terror groups launched seven Qassam rockets from northern Gaza at Israel on Wednesday morning. The rockets landed near the town of Sderot and the neighboring communities, causing no injuries but starting a fire near a kibbutz.


Earlier in the day several mortar shells were also fired from Gaza and fell in open areas near the border.


Preparations for Rosh Hashana are underway in Israeli communities in the Gaza vicinity under the constant threat of rocket barrages, exacerbated by Tuesday's strike against the Zikim military base in which almost 70 soldiers were wounded.


The region is still under the "special situation" status declared by Defense Minister Ehud Barak more than a week ago.


"That decree was issued to ensure all systems would be operational in Sderot. This is the second time it's been used and in my humble opinion it constitutes a threat to democracy," said Sha'ar Hanegev council head Alon Shuster.


On Tuesday one rocket landed in Kibbutz Nir Am and though no one was injured, damage was caused to several buildings and created a brief panic. Kibbutz member Ofer Lieberman said that holiday plans in the kibbutz have not changed even though a number of families have left to stay with relatives in other areas of the country.


On Shavuot last year the region's kibbutzim canceled all festivities due to Qassam attacks. Haim Yelin, chairman of Kibbutz Nahal Oz, said that the past few days have been relatively quiet for the kibbutzim.


"One of the kibbutz members was telling me that after a very long time he finally heard birds chirping again, something he had not heard for quite some time. I think that's what is most terrible about all this,

that for years we haven't had any quiet but now it terrifies us, it sounds like the quiet before the storm."


Security coordinators for regional kibbutzim said that according to their information, the IDF is not planning military operations in Gaza at the moment to avoid disrupting the holiday season for residents.


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