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Two Grad rockets fired toward Beersheba; Iron Dome gets one
By
March 14, 2012 19:04
Launch is the most serious breach of an informal cease-fire reached after a violent weekend during which over 200 rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel; second rocket reportedly explodes in an empty field.
Gaza air strike

Iron Dome fires interceptor rocket. (photo credit:REUTERS/Nir Elias )

Two Grad rockets were fired at Beersheba from the Gaza Strip Wednesday night. The IDF confirmed that a rocket had been fired in the direction of Beersheba.

The Iron Dome rocket defense system successfully intercepted the Grad. A second rocket exploded in an empty field.



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No damage or injuries were reported but several people were being treated for shock.

The rockets come a day after a reported informal cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza took effect. A number of rockets and mortars were fired after the cease-fire came into effect, but Wednesday's launches appeared to be the most serious breach, reaching deep into Israeli territory.



On Tuesday night, terrorists in Gaza fired a Grad rocket into the center of the southern town of Netivot, lightly injuring one man. Eleven others were treated for shock.

Earlier on Tuesday evening two rockets landed in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council, marking the first such attacks since midday. Previously, Palestinian terrorists fired five mortar shells and two rockets at southern Israel just before noon. No injuries or damage were reported in the attacks.

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.

More than 200 rockets have been fired from Gaza into southern Israel during hostilities that began on Friday when the IDF killed two Islamic Jihad terrorists that Israel charged were plotting a cross-border terror attack from Sinai.

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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.

JPost.com staff contributed to this report.
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