A Qassam rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists in north Gaza Sunday night landed south of Ashkelon. There were no reports of injury or damage.
The rocket landed in an open area within the Ashkelon Beach Regional Council's limits.
"When they say that the rocket exploded in an open area, from our standpoint it is a field in which farmers work. Therefore, such attacks should be dealt with just as any direct hit on a house," council head Yair Farjun said.
"I assume the groups that are firing the rockets are taking advantage of the fact our hands our somewhat tied because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the US for meetings. It is not my place to give the security establishment advice – it has proven that it knows what to do against the Palestinian organizations," he said.
Ashkelon's Deputy Mayor Shlomo Cohen, formerly a senior official with the Shin Bet security service, said, "We are witnessing a deterioration whereby the rockets are getting closer and closer to Ashkelon. This merely validates our fears and demands for the fortification of educational institutions."
On Saturday four rockets emanating from the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave landed in open areas in Israel's Negev region. Another Qassam landed in Palestinian territory near the Kissufim Crossing.
Saturday saw a rocket land near a kibbutz located within Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council limits. There were no injuries or damage, but the IDF retaliated with strikes on a Hamas facility near the defunct airport in south Gaza. The Palestinians said 14 people were injured, among them two seriously.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon crossed into Gaza Sunday morning as part of a regional tour aimed at reviving the Middle East peace process.
Ban was met on the other side of the border by a small group of people waving Palestinian flags. "I'll go to Gaza to express my solidarity with the plight of the Palestinian people there and to underscore the need to end the blockade," Ban told reporters on Saturday. He added that the siege was causing "unacceptable human suffering".
During his meeting with President Shimon Peres Saturday evening, Ban called on Hamas to release Gilad Shalit, and Peres thanked him for scheduling a meeting with the kidnapped soldier's Shalit's parents. The UN chief also called on the Palestinians to end rocket attacks from Gaza, while urging Israel to lift the Gaza blockade.