Qassam rocket (archives)
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov
Qassam explodes in western Negev
Police sappers, security forces conducting searches in bid to locate rocket dud. Shaar Hanegev Regional Council uses opportunity to come out against budget cutbacks

Despite Tuesday's aerial attacks on the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians cotniue to launch rockets into Israel . A Qassam rocket detonated Wednesday near the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip on farmland belonging to one of the kibbutzim in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported.


Alon Schuster, head of the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, took the opportunity of the rocket attack to come out against the Interior Ministry's decision to make a 50% cut in the balance grants, intended to decrease gaps among various sectors of the population.


"This means that NIS 1.3 million (about $350,000) are being cut as if the situation here has become entirely routine, as if rockets aren't being fired here, as if there is no Color Red alert system here, as if farmers in the fields are not being fired at here," Schuster said.


"This is a surreal situation, and we cannot understand this abuse being perpetrated against all the residents of the area. Damage is done not only to us, but also to Sderot," he added.


Police and security officials are continuing their search of the area for the exact location of the rocket hit.


A Qassam rocket detonated Tuesday night in an open area in Eshkol Regional Council. Around 3 pm, the Color Red air raid siren was sounded in a number of the Gaza vicinity towns, after which an explosion was heard in one of them. No injuries or damage were reported.


Following the rocket attack, Israeli aircraft bombed targets in the southern Gaza Strip. The Palestinians reported that three missiles were fired at the defunct airport in Dahania, and another three were fired at Rafah.


The IDF reported that the target of the attack was a "terror tunnel" and a tunnel used for smuggling weapons into the coastal enclave.


Three Palestinians were wounded in the attack.


Military sources said that Tuesday's attack was carried out in response to the continued rocket firings from the northern Gaza Strip. It was also meant to deter against additional attempts to perpetrate terror attacks. At the beginning of the week, two barrels laden with explosives washed ashore in Ashdod and Ashkelon. They were later found by fishermen in the area.


Another such barrel was located on Wednesday in the Palmachim beach.


פרסום ראשון: 02.03.10, 20:17
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