Damage caused by rocket (archives)
Photo: Roy Idan

Rockets land east of Ashdod

Shooting range extended: Gaza gunmen respond to IDF operation by firing three rockets some 40 km away from Strip. Building in moshav near Ashdod sustains damage. Later, rocket hits southern Ashkelon; two people lightly hurt by shrapnel

After a day which saw dozens of Qassam rockets fired at Israel, Palestinian gunmen resumed the fire on Sunday morning. Three rockets, believed to be Grad missiles, were fired from the Gaza Strip and landed east of the city of Ashdod in the morning hours.


Two Grad rockets were fired from the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday afternoon. One of the rockets landed in southern Ashkelon. Two people were lightly injured by shrapnel and eight suffered shock. Several cars sustained damage.


The two rockets landed in open areas in the city. One exploded between two buildings. The injured were evacuated to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.


A city resident told Ynet, "We were at home when we heard a very loud explosion. The entire building trembled. The Qassam exploded between the two buildings and its only a miracle we weren't hurt."


The second rocket landed near a shopping mall, which had been hit by a Grad missile in the past. Several people suffered from shock and were attended to by Magen David Adom crews.


One of the morning's rockets caused damage to the windows of a house in a moshav near Ashdod. Explosions were also heard in the Ashkelon area. There were no reports of injuries. This was the most northern point hit by rockets fired from Gaza so far - more than 40 kilometers (25 miles) away from the Strip.


An air raid siren was sounded in the Ashkelon and Ashdod area at around 9:30 am, followed explosions heard in the area. A siren also sounded in the Yavne area in central Israel.


Two Qassam rockets landed in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council in southern Israel.


Sunday afternoon, four Qassam rockets fired from northern Gaza landed in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported.


Sixty-four rockets were fired at Israel on Saturday, a Netivot resident was killed and several people were injured.


"We were not surprised by the rockets fired at Ashdod," said a military source. "We estimated this would happen and prepared the area's residents for such a scenario."


He added that Hamas was in shock and under pressure and would try and carry out different types of terror attacks.

Injured evacuated in Ashkelon (Photo: Maor Moravia)


A resident of the moshav hit by a rocket said, "We heard the siren, and several moments later there was a very loud explosion. I could imagine that a Qassam landed in our moshav. The entire house trembled. We have nowhere to go to because we have no fortified rooms. There's a shelter located several houses away from here, but we couldn't reach it.


"Only after we came out we discovered that the rocket landed right next to my house. It was a miracle that nothing happened. A few houses sustained damage and people here are extremely terrified. We didn't imagine it would be so close."


Under fire

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni held an evaluation of the situation with senior security officials. The three instructed the IDF to prepare for an escalation in the Gaza Strip, as Hamas and the terror organizations are expected to increase their efforts to launch rockets and bombs at Israel, as well as carry out terror attacks with the help of terrorists from the West Bank.


The Home Front Command released instructions stating that mass events would be canceled this week in communities relatively far from the Gaza Strip, shopping centers will open only in buildings made of concrete and public transportation would operate in a limited manner.


The IAF struck a total of 100 Hamas targets in Gaza on Saturday. Palestinian medical officials reported at least 230 people killed in the Israeli strikes.


Meanwhile, the rocket fire towards Israel continued throughout the day, and by 9 pm 64 rockets had been fired, of them 44 were fired towards Eshkol and Sdot Negev Regional Council and the rest towards Sderot and Ashkelon.


Daniel Edelson, Liron Sinay, Ilana Curiel and Anat Shalev contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 12.28.08, 09:46
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