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Photo: Ronit Minker
Grad rocket hits Ashkelon
Rocket fired from Gaza explodes in southern city, causing a number of residents to suffer shock but no damage. Elderly woman also injured while taking cover. Residents tell Ynet blast was very loud. 'Even my table shook,' one says

A rocket thought to be of the Grad type exploded in southern Ashkelon Sunday, causing a number of bystanders to suffer shock. An elderly woman was also lightly injured while attempting to take cover. No damage was reported.

 

Security forces are searching for the rocket, which is believed to have exploded in the city's southern industrial zone.

 

Residents were startled late Sunday by the rocket alarm, immediately followed by a loud explosion. "Even my table shook," one resident told Ynet.

 

Another resident told Ynet, "We heard the alarm and went into the shelter, and just succeeded in closing the door when we heard a very loud blast. The whole building shook and I thought it must have fallen in our neighborhood."

 

David Mahlof, who also resides in Ashkelon, told Ynet he was in the car with his family when the rocket hit. "We have a baby and as we were taking him out of the car we heard the blast, before we could get to a shelter. It was a miracle nothing happened to us," he said.

 

Paramedics treated residents who suffered shock on the scene, and evacuated one woman to Barzilai Hospital.

 

Earlier in the day Ashkelon Municipality discussed whether or not to hold the traditional Purim parade celebrated throughout Israel, and decided to allow it. Residents were advised to keep alert, however.

 

Tensions have been rising on the Gaza border in recent days. Exchanges of fire between IDF soldiers and Palestinians were reported at around noon Sunday near the Al-Bureij refugee camp in Gaza.

 

During the fighting, Palestinians fired an anti-tank missile at a Merkava 4 tank, which is equipped with the "Windbreaker" defense system. The system intercepted the missile, and IDF forces responded with artillery fire.

 

On Saturday, 49 mortar shells were fired into Israel from Gaza, prompting the IDF to strike several targets across the Strip. Two Israelis sustained light injuries from the mortar fire.

 

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פרסום ראשון: 03.20.11, 19:47
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