Qassam routine returns: Three Qassam rockets were fired from the northern Gaza Strip towards Israel on Friday afternoon. Two rockets landed in open areas near the southern town of Sderot, and another rocket hit the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
The Qassam were fired at Sderot while Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai was touring the city with Labor Party activists.
Immediately upon hearing the alert, Vilnai and his men ran to a fortified building in the area. The deputy minister arrived in the city in order to attend a Labor meeting with local council heads.
Simultaneously, a delegation of businesspeople arrived at the city as well in a convoy of 20 taxis and handed out Purim gifts to Sderot's children.
On Friday morning, a Qassam rocket landed within the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage. The Islamic Jihad's military wing, the al-Quds Brigades, announced that it launched three rockets towards Israel.
Vilnai in Sderot (Photo: Zeev Trachtman)
After a relatively calm week, which included reports and speculations about a lull agreement with the Palestinians, the Color Red rocket alerts returned to the western Negev on Wednesday night.
At least 28 rockets were fired into Israel on Thursday, which the last barrage launched after midnight, hitting the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries. One of the rockets landed in an industrial zone without causing damage.
The Palestinians also fired seven mortar rockets into Israel on Thursday, which landed within the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council and near the border fence with the Gaza Strip.
Alon Shuster, head of the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council which was hit with most of the rockets fired over the past 24 hours, expressed his hope Thursday that the IDF and the political leadership would take steps to reduce the massive rocket fire.
"Just like we don’t tell the IDF whether to enter Gaza or not, we are not telling the army whether to assassinate people or not. We are part of terror's punching bag and hope that those who have to make decisions see the full picture.
"We shall not be a weak link because of the recent rocket fire. We trust the decision makers to find and make all the right decisions," he said.
Ali Waked contributed to this report