Three people were wounded Wednesday during a tough day in southern Israel that saw more than 20 rockets fired at Negev communities.
Addressing the rocket strikes Wednesday evening, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the IDF will embark on a Gaza operation once the situation requires such move.
"'We are not deterred by a broad operation in Gaza, but we do not wish to rush into such operation," he said. "We will act when the time is right; we will decide what the right time and place are."
One rocket exploded in the parking lot of a large commercial center in the southern town of Sderot. Two people sustained light wounds in the attack after being hit by shrapnel, while another man suffered damage to his ears. Magen David Adom ambulance service teams treated the wounded, who were later taken to hospital in Ashkelon. Medical teams also treated numerous anxiety victims at the scene.
Aftermath of attack: Nearby supermarket (Photo: Ze'ev Trachtman)
The rocket landed in the area while hundreds of shoppers were at the site. Vehicles and a nearby store sustained extensive damage in the strike.
'Chaos at the site'
Sderot resident Yair Madmon told Ynet: "I arrived at the supermarket…when I stood by the entrance, I heard the loud whistle, and then the explosion, which happened right before my eyes. The rocket landed close to me…it was scary."
"Qassams landed in my backyard twice in the past, yet this time it was much scarier," he said. "There was chaos at the site. Products flew off the shelves, people started screaming and running away, and many children were crying. It was simply scary to see it; I'm still frightened by what had happened."
A short while after the attack, the Air Force fired at a rocket launcher in the northern Gaza Strip. The IDF said the launcher was ready for use.
'Situation is unbearable'Earlier Wednesday, the Palestinians fired 10 Qassam rockets from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.
Seven rockets landed within the Eshkol Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage in the earlier strikes. Shortly afterwards, a mortar shell landed within the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, without causing injuries or damage. Another rocket landed in the same area later in the day.
"We woke up to the sounds of the Color Red alert system and explosions," Ella Fox, a community manager in one of the council's kibbutzim, told Ynet. "We are strong, but this situation is unbearable. Instead of starting our day like any other citizen in the State of Israel, we're forced to start it like this."