A siren was activated in Ashkelon Thursday afternoon, raising fears that a Qassam rocket was launched from Gaza. A short while later the IDF said it was a false alarm, and no rocket landing sites were found during a search of the area.
During the incident Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman and Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish were visiting the Ashkelon Magistrates' Court. Initially they were told an IDF drill was being conducted nearby, but the officials' bodyguards decided to take them to the courthouse's shelter.
Sophie Hotovely Pinhas, deputy chairwoman of the local parents' committee, said that despite the fact that no rocket was fired the incident was a "stark reminder of the continued irresponsibility on the part of the prime minister (Benjamin Netanyahu) and defense minister (Ehud Barak).
"Even today the children of Ashkelon took cover under the desks and prayed that God will protect them. The prime minister must display leadership and instruct the Defense Ministry to complete the construction of fortified rooms in the school's educational institutions without further delay," she said.
Last week Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired two Qassam rockets toward Israel. One of them landed in an open area in the Negev's Eshkol Regional Council, while the other exploded near the security fence separating Israel from the Strip.
The Air Force retaliated a few hours later by attacking targets in Gaza.
Shmulik Hadad and Aviad Glickman contributed to the report
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