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After hours of quiet, rocket hits home near Kiryat Malachi
By YAAKOV LAPPIN AND JPOST.COM STAFF
11/18/2012
Rocket directly strikes house after Iron Dome intercepts four rockets fired at Tel Aviv; rockets strike a car in Ofakim, injuring 5, and a home in Ashdod, injuring 2; over 115 rockets fired into Israel since morning.
 
After a few hours of relative quiet, a rocket fired from Gaza on Sunday evening hit a house near Kiryat Malachi.

No injuries were reported, but the rocket caused damage to the house in a direct hit.

A witness on the scene, Gal Goldberg, 17, described hearing a powerful blast as the rocket landed on the home next door to his own.

"When we heard the siren we entered a safe room, the blast shook the walls, we went outside and saw people running towards the house that was hit. We saw widespread wreckage," Goldberg said.

The residents of the house had taken cover in the safe room.

Goldberg added that the IDF must continue their operation in Gaza.

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Earlier on Sunday evening Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted two long-range rockets fired at Tel Aviv on Sunday evening. No injuries or damage were reported.

Hamas claimed responsibility for firing at the city.

It was the second strike on Israel's commercial capital on Sunday. In the earlier attack, one person was hurt by falling debris from a rocket that was intercepted south of the city.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired over 115 rockets towards a number of Israeli cities Sunday morning, striking among others, Beersheba, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Sderot. The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted four rockets fired toward Tel Aviv, and 30 overall in different areas throughout the day.

The IAF struck over 80 targets in Gaza in the same time period. Over 1200 terror targets have been hit in Gaza since the beginning of
the operation.

In addition, the IDF has completed preparations for a ground offensive, as growing forces mass at the border with Gaza. Training for the entry into Gaza
has been complete.



"Rocket attacks on Israel continue, but their ability to launch rockets is decreasing," IDF spokesman Yoav Mordechai said. "Hamas is using the Palestinian population as a human shield. We have released footage of rocket fire from a mosque courtyard, prayer houses, public places and homes," Mordechai added.

"Many of their rockets are falling inside of the Gaza Strip," he added.

National Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that Sunday's rocket salvos were especially intense, hitting specific cities with five or ten rockets at a time. He added that in light of the heightened intensity of the salvos, it is especially important that citizens take cover immediately during a rocket siren and stay put until several seconds after the alarm is over.

Magen David Adom said their paramedics treated a total of 40 injured people in Israel on Sunday, including seven people hurt by shrapnel, including one seriously injured, two moderately, and four lightly. In addition, they treated two people who were lightly injured in car accidents after they tried to pull over during a rocket siren.

Across Israel, MDA treated a total of 31 people suffering from shock, including six in Tel Aviv following rocket fire towards the city.

A rocket struck the roof of an eight-story residential building in Ashdod on Sunday afternoon. The rocket penetrated the elevator shaft and descended five stories before exploding and causing extensive damage to the building. Two people were lightly injured and thirty were treated for shock.

One rocket struck a building in Ashkelon Sunday morning, lightly injuring two people and causing serious damage to the building. Another rocket moderately-to-seriously injured another man in Sha'ar Hanegev.

At least three other rockets hit Asheklon Sunday morning. Iron Dome intercepted two and another fell into an open field. Three rockets were shot at Beersheba, two of which were intercepted by Iron Dome. The third caused damage but no injuries.

Following Iron Dome interception of two rockets early on Sunday over Gush Dan, shrapnel from one of the rockets struck a car in the Holon area south of Tel Aviv, setting it on fire and destroying it completely. Miraculously, the driver had left his vehicle when the siren sounded, and survived the incident without injury.

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Since the start of the operation on Wednesday, more than 544 Palestinian rockets exploded in Israeli territory. A small percentage of those exploded in urban areas. Over 300 rockets heading straight for population centers were successfully shot down by Iron Dome.

Schools in southern Israel located within 40 kilometers from the border with Gaza remain shut.

South experiences quiet night after days of heavy rocket fire

After Saturday saw dozens of rockets fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip, including two missiles directed toward Tel Aviv, a sole rocket landed in Israeli territory overnight Saturday, just after midnight. The rocket landed in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council area, failing to cause injuries or damage.

On Saturday, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said in Cairo that "there are some indications that there is a possibility of a cease-fire soon, but we do not yet have firm guarantees."

Egypt has mediated previous cease-fire deals between Israel and Hamas, the latest of which unraveled with recent violence.

A Palestinian official told Reuters the truce discussions would continue in Cairo on Sunday, saying "there is hope," but it was too early to say whether the efforts would succeed.

In Jerusalem, an Israeli official declined to comment on the negotiations. Military commanders said Israel was prepared to fight on to achieve a goal of halting rocket fire from Gaza.

Ben Hartman and Reuters contributed to this report.
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