Gaza rockets intensify in South; Grads in Ashdod, Beersheba

Three Palestinian workers injured by Grad in Ashdod; eight hospitalized in Beersheba area attack with light injuries, shock; rockets, mortar strike in Gaza border region.

August 20, 2011 11:59
2 minute read.
Smoke trails after rockets are fired in Gaza

Smoke trails from rockets being fired in Gaza 311 (R). (photo credit: Yannis Behrakis / Reuters)

Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip intensified Saturday morning in the second day of attacks that followed IDF strikes on the Strip, responding to a deadly terror attack near Eilat Thursday, in which eight Israelis were killed and dozens injured.

Three Palestinians working in Israel were injured Saturday morning when a number of Grad rockets exploded in southern Ashdod. Hours earlier, Hamas's armed wing announced an end to a de facto cease fire in place since the end of Operation Cast Lead in 2009.

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Emergency sirens could be heard throughout the city before the blasts. A paramedics team that was dispatched to the site of the blast in Ashdod said it was treating three men in their 20s for injuries including shrapnel to the neck, chest, and other parts of the body. Two were in serious condition.

Later Saturday morning, a Grad rocket exploded in an open field north of Beersheba in the Bnei Shimon Regional Council. Eight people were hospitalized at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba with light injuries and suffering from shock.

Police response teams located two rocket impact zones in the Gaza border area. Two civilians were suffering from shock at one scene and parked vehicles were damaged. The second impact hit in an open area. Minutes earlier, a mortar shell exploded in a kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. One person suffered from shock in that attack. Shortly thereafter, two rockets exploded in a Sha'ar Hanegev kibbutz. No injuries were reported in that attack.

Israel Radio reported at least 35 rockets landing in Israel since Thursday afternoon.

Also Saturday morning, an explosion was heard in the northern Lacish area. A spokeswoman for the Yoav Michal Regional Council reported that an air raid siren was heard in her area a few minutes ago. No injuries or damages are known.

Late Friday night, a Kassam rocket exploded in the Eshkol Regional Council in an open field, causing no injuries or damage.

The IAF launched a number of air strikes at the Gaza Strip Friday night in response to Thursday's terror attack the continuing rocket fire, killing at least one Palestinian Resistance Committee (PRC) leader and hitting tunnels used to infiltrate Israel as well as weapons caches.

Earlier in the evening, an Iron Dome anti-missile battery successfully intercepted a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip toward Ashkelon.

Three rockets exploded in the Eshkol Regional council Friday night over a period of several hours. No injuries or damages were reported.

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