Beduin sheepherder with Iron Dome in background 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
School was scheduled to be back in session in the South on Wednesday after rocket attacks from Gaza kept students at home for the past three days.
The Home Front Command made the decision to send children back to school as an informal cease-fire reached between Gaza factions and Israel led to relative calm on Tuesday. The decision was made after defense officials consulted with the heads of local authorities in Beersheba, Ashdod and Ashkelon.
Schools had been cancelled in all towns and cities located between 7 km to 40 km from the Gaza Strip. The decision applied to the cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba, Netivot, Sderot, Kiryat Malachi, Gadera, Rahat, Yavneh, Lakiyeh, and the Gan Yavneh Regional Council.
Sporadic rocket fire hit southern Israel on Tuesday, but the informal cease-fire appeared to be holding after four days of hostilities.
Two rockets landed in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council area on Tuesday evening, marking the first such attacks since midday. Previously, Palestinian terrorists fired five mortar shells and two rockets at southern Israel earlier just before noon. No injuries or damage were reported in the attacks.
More than 200 rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel during hostilities which began on Friday when the IDF killed two Islamic Jihad terrorists that Israel charged were plotting a cross-border terror attack from Sinai.
The Israel Air Force responded to rocket attacks throughout the period of escalation, killing 26 Palestinians in air strikes, 22 of whom were armed terrorists.
Palestinian media reported on Tuesday afternoon that the IDF shot and injured three Palestinians that approached the Gaza security fence during a funeral procession for two terrorists that were killed in an IAF strike a day earlier. The funeral was for Islamic Jihad members Bassam al-Ejla and Mohammed Daher.
The IDF said that some fifty Palestinians came close to the security fence, and that they fired in order to distance them.
An Egyptian security official told Reuters on Tuesday that both sides had "agreed to end the current operations," with Israel giving an unusual undertaking to "stop assassinations," and an overall agreement "to begin a comprehensive and mutual calm."
"There is an understanding," Homeland Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i told Army Radio Tuesday morning. "At the moment the direction is toward calm and it appears, unless there are last minute developments, that this round is now behind us."
Also Tuesday morning, an Islamic Jihad spokesman said the group would respect the quiet as long as Israel stopped assassinations of terrorist leaders, saying it would respond if more assassinations take place.Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report