After several hours of relative quiet, the armed Palestinian groups in Gaza resumed the rocket attacks on Israel with the launching of more than 10 Qassams toward Sderot and its surrounding areas in the western Negev region since late Tuesday morning. A home in the western Negev city sustained a direct hit, and one person was lightly injured. A number of other residents were treated for shock.
One rocket landed near a soccer field in a coomunity located south of Ashkelon, and another hit the Netivot area. There were no reports of injuries in either attack.
Shiran Abarjil, a resident of the building that was hit, said, "We were at home when we heard the alarm. We don't have fortification in the house and we just prayed for a miracle. We heard the explosion, it was lucky that the rocket landed in the yard.
"The rocket hit our dog, he was very seriously injured, and they are trying to save him."
The home of Sderot firefighter Avi Maman was also hit. "We heard the Color Red when we were home. A while ago they brought a bomb shelters that hasn't yet been connected and we decided to enter it anyway.
"In hindsight this was very lucky, because my wife and I, my mother and my son were in the house that was hit. We heard the strong explosion, we realized the hit was inside the house, and when we got out I saw that much damage was caused.
"You could say the house was almost completely destroyed. These are old houses that were not fortified and they only now have begun installing bomb shelters in the area."
Police take cover in Sderot (Photo: Reuters)
Prosper Peretz, a shop owner in the city, was the first person to treat the injured man in the attack. "After the hit, my wife called out to me that there was someone bleeding on the ground near the store.
"I went out and blocked the blood with a shirt. He was in shock, and he just kept telling me 'save me, save me'. My house and business were also hit with shrapnel and all the windows were shattered. I'm going to close the place now, sine no one has come here in a week anyway."
The attack was carried out as members of the Knesset's Education Committee held a special meeting in the city to discuss the affects of the fighting on the education system in South Israel.
Earlier Police located a rocket that landed north of Ashdod on Monday. The landing site was the northernmost point reached by Hamas rockets so far.
Meanwhile, the Israeli aerial attack on Gaza continued Tuesday, and Palestinians reported one man was killed and two others injured on a strike on a Hamas police post in Khan Yunis.
It was also reported that two sisters, aged four and 11 were killed in an attack in Beit Lahiya in the northern Strip.
Despite these reports, the Israeli aerial attacks on Gaza have subsided somewhat. Helicopters launched a few attacks Qassam launching pads in the northern Strip. During one of the strikes in Khan Younis three members of a rocket-launching cell were hit.
IDF officials are waiting for the green light to embark on a ground incursion, which may be unavoidable in light of the latest escalation in fighting.
In a briefing with President Shimon Peres Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the IDF would continue to strike until all its goals were met.
Eli Senyor and Yaheli Moran Zelikovich contributed to the report