With only several short weeks left until the ceasefire signed between Israel and the Gaza Strip's armed groups expires, a Qassam rocket was fired from northern Gaza on Tuesday evening towards Israel.
The rocket landed in an open area in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. No injuries were reported and no damage was caused.
Later in the evening the Hizbullah-Palestine organization claimed responsibility for the Qassam. A spokesman for the organization said the launching was carried out in response to ongoing Israeli transgressions against Palestinians.
In response to the attack Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the border crossings used to transport goods into the Strips to be closed down.
Hof Ashkelon council chairman, Meir Farjun, says the calm is misleading. "As far as we're concerned, so long as Gilad Shalit is being held in Gaza, there will always be someone who will try to launch Qassams in the hopes that (Israel's) response will stall the negotiations for his release," said Farjun.
The chairman added that local residents continue to remain alert. "Every two weeks we hold drills for all the security teams and simulate rocket attacks," he said.
Rockets and mortar shells have scarcely been fired from Gaza since the ceasefire went into effect in
June, however the calm is sporadically breached. More than 20 rockets have been lobbed at Israel since
the truce was signed. The attacks have usually led Israel to temporary close the border crossings.
The last rocket attack prior to this one was in late September. The projectile failed failed to cross the border, and landed in Palestinian territory. No injuries or damage were reported.
Six weeks ago a rocket launched from Gaza landed in a field near the town of Sderot and sparked a brushfire. One woman was treated for shock following the incident.