Rocket fire from Gaza
Mortar shell in Eshkol
Photo: AFP

Rockets pound south; homes in Sderot, Sha'ar Hanegev hit

Gaza terror groups shell south; two homes suffer direct hit. No injuries reported. Cairo said to be promoting ceasefire efforts between Israel, Gaza terror groups

Gaza terrorists' incessant rocket fire on the Gaza vicinity communities and Israel's southern cities continued Sunday evening.


The Eshkol Regional Council bore the brunt of the assault with over 15 rockets hitting its communities since 4 pm. No injuries were reported.


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Around 7:30 pm, a rocket fired from Gaza hit a house in Sderot. No injuries were reported but one woman suffered shock.


Another rocket hit a building in one of Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council's communities. Several hours later, four rockets hit Netivot and the Bnei Shimon Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported in either incident.


The past 24 hours saw Gaza-based terror groups fire over 100 Qassam rockets, mortar shells and Grads at Israel.


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The IDF ordered the area's residents to remain within close proximity to shelters.


Meanwhile Egyptian Intelligence officials claimed Sunday that they have been able to negotiate an end to the current round of escalation in the south.


According to senior Egyptian sources, both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have agreed to hold their fire if Israel suspends airstrike over Gaza.


Israel reportedly agreed not to retaliate over sporadic rocket fire from Gaza, as long as it was sans casualties. No Israeli source has corroborated the information.


The house in Sderot (Photo: Zeev Trachtman)


'Stronger Israeli response possible'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Sunday with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz, on the backdrop of the mounting tensions in the southern sector and the edging of the Syrian civil ware closer to Israel's border.


A source in the Prime Minister's Office said that Netanyahu was briefed on various response scenarios throughout the day, adding that Israel was also exploring how to "prepare international public opinion" to a possible broad response in Gaza.


Security forces in Sderot (Photo: Zeev Trachtman)


Netanyahu has called several foreign ambassadors for consultations on Monday.


Defense Minister Ehud Barak commented to the escalating situation in the south, saying that the IDF was "inflicting severe damage to the other side."


According to Barak, the Gaza-based terror groups "have lost dozens of operatives since the beginning of the month. The IDF effectively destroys targets every day," he said.


"They fire on us, of course, and this disturbs many Israelis. We have no intension of tolerating it and if need be we'll launch an extensive response.


"We mean to make Hamas understand, again, that they can't fire on Israeli citizens. This could take more than a few days and more than one round (of escalation), but we are adamant," Barak said.


The Defense Ministry said that the Kerem Shalom crossing will remain closed on Monday, over the growing tensions in the southern sector.


The crossing, which is the main checkpoint through which goods and humanitarian aid are delivered to Gaza Strip, was temporarily closed on Sunday following Saturday's border attack near Karni crossing.


You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: [email protected]  


Attila Somfalvi and Ilana Curiel contributed to this report



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פרסום ראשון: 11.11.12, 19:12
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