Qassam rocket (Archives)
Photo: Ze'ev Trachtman

2 rockets hit south Israel

Projectiles fired by Palestinians in north Gaza land in open areas in Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, south of Ashkelon; no injuries, damage reported. Council head: Israel must take some sort of military or political action

A rocket fired from northern Gaza on Friday at around 9:30 am landed in an open area south of Ashkelon. No injuries or damage were reported.


Earlier a Qassam landed within the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council's limits, but caused no injury or damage. The rocket landed near a kibbutz in which not all of the houses have been fortified. 


Israel has made it clear that it would respond "disproportionately" to any rocket fire emanating from the Hamas-controlled territory.


"Israel must take some sort of military or political action to resolve this issue," Council head Alon Schuster told Ynet after the attack, "but we've grown accustomed to this policy where nothing gets done. It is my estimation that the nearing elections will prevent any response to the rocket fire."


Sderot Mayor David Buskila said "I recall talk of disproportionate retaliation to the rocket attacks, but unfortunately the attacks are continuing and there is no response. I fear that even after the elections nothing will be done, so we will suffer from the rocket fire for at least another month."


'Our deterrence is intact'

The rocket fire followed an incident late Thursday on the Gaza-Israel border in which IDF forces prevented an attack by a Palestinian man by firing shots that apparently killed the assailant. The Palestinian approached the border fence in southern Gaza and pulled out a hand grenade, which exploded when the troops fired at him.


Over the past few days Palestinian gunmen have launched a number of rockets toward Israel's southern region.


On Tuesday a Grad rocket landed between buildings in a residential neighborhood in Ashkelon's city center as residents were making their way to school and to work. Three people suffered shock, several cars were damaged and windowpanes were shattered. That same evening the Israeli Air Force struck targets in Rafah and Khan Younis.


Monday evening saw a Qassam rocket fired at the Sderot area. The Color Red rocket alert system was activated in the city and in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council at around 6:50 pm, followed by a blast. There were no reports of injuries or damage.


The rocket apparently landed near the security fence separating Israel from the Hamas-controlled enclave. Earlier that day a number of mortar shells were launched toward the Eshkol Regional Council area.


Defense Minister Ehud Barak said this week that Israel was not gearing for a second offensive in the Gaza Strip.


"We have no intention of embarking on Operation Cast Lead number two. We said there would be a response (to the rocket fire) and we responded," he said, "Our deterrence is intact. Hamas is barely picking up the pieces and is looking for a lull. If we play our cards right and prevent further escalation than we have a good chance of some peace and quiet."


פרסום ראשון: 02.06.09, 08:00
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