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(photo credit: Eliram Moshe [file])
After a relative lull in rocket fire on Thursday morning, Gaza terrorists stepped up their attacks after midday, firing at least 35 projectiles at the South and bringing the day's total to over 45.
Two Grad-type missiles slammed into Ashdod, one of them hitting an eight-story residential building and destroying the top floor.
The four residents of the top two apartments were not home, having left for shelter in a fortified room. Several people were treated for shock following the attack.
Shortly after the attack, the IAF launched a quick-fire response in Gaza, striking both the Gaza terror cell that launched the projectile and the launching device.
All through the afternoon and in the early evening rockets also hit the Beersheba area, the Ashkelon area and the Eshkol region, while one hit the Lachish region. None were wounded in the barrages, but several people were treated for shock.
Throughout Thursday morning, Gaza terrorists fired some ten rockets at the South as the IDF's Operation Cast Lead entered its sixth day. No one was wounded in the attacks, but several buildings were damaged as a rocket landed in an Eshkol neighborhood.
Three Grad-type rockets were also fired at Beersheba overnight Wednesday, causing no casualties. According to Israel Radio, the city's alarm system was not functioning and the Home Front Command would fix it by Thursday afternoon.
Also overnight Wednesday, two Kassam rockets were fired at Netivot. No casualties or damage were reported.
Since the start of the Gaza operation, three Israeli civilians and one soldier have been killed in rocket attacks that have reached deeper into Israel than ever before, bringing one-eighth of Israel's population within rocket range.
AP contributed to this report