Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday vowed retribution for rocket fire into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip overnight Saturday, saying, "I am entirely obligated to make clear to the terrorists that they cannot fire rockets at Israel with impunity."
Terrorists fired two Grad rockets into Israel overnight Saturday, damaging two buildings in Netivot and lightly injuring seven civilians.
At the opening of a meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Jerusalem on Sunday, Netanyahu said, "You arrived on a day when our security is once again being tested...They paid a price in the past for these crimes and they will pay a price again," Netanyahu stated, apparently promising a military response to the rocket fire.
Westerwelle stated that Germany condemns "every kind of terrorist attack against Israel. We stand together with Israel."
Around 2:00 a.m., terrorists fired a Grad rocket at Beersheba. Residents in the city heard an explosion, but there were no reports of damage, and authorities scoured the city for the rocket's remains. The Iron Dome battery stationed near the city did not launch an intercept as the Grad fell in an open area and did not endanger the civilian population.
Municipal authorities in Beersheba and Ashdod announced that classes would be canceled on Sunday as a result of the attack. Officials from both cities decided Sunday night to resume classes as usual on Monday.
Shortly after the Grad was fired at Beersheba, terrorists fired a rocket at the city of Netivot. The rocket struck two homes, which sustained heavy damage. Upon hearing the emergency siren indicating an incoming rocket, a resident in one of the houses took refuge in the bathroom, escaping the blast.
"I heard a siren, so I got up and went to the entrance of the house, where it's relatively well protected," Army Radio quoted Pini Azulai as saying." I decided to step inside the bathroom, where it's also quite fortified. And just when I walked in, there was an explosion."
Seven civilians were injured in the Sunday attacks; three were lightly hurt while running to bomb shelters after hearing emergency sirens, while four suffered shock.
On Wednesday night, IAF aircraft targeted a terrorist squad in the central Gaza Strip during final preparations to fire rockets at Israel. Palestinian sources said at least three men were killed in the air strike, and one wounded. The cell had been involved in rocket fire on southern Israel in the past, according to the IDF.
On Thursday morning, the IDF attacked a terrorist cell attempting to place a bomb on the Gaza border. Infantrymen from the Givati Brigade along with tanks and aircraft successfully struck the cell. Palestinian sources said that three people were killed by IDF fire in the incident.