Iron Dome battery in Ashdod_370.
(photo credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters)
Gazan terrorists continued to fire rockets at communities in southern Israel on
Thursday, with one landing dangerously close to a school in Netivot, casting
further doubt on reports that a cease-fire was being observed by Islamist groups
in the Strip.
On Thursday night, a rocket landed in an open field in the
Eshkol region, causing no harm, and the Iron Dome anti-rocket system intercepted
a missile fired at Ashdod.
In the morning, a Grad rocket exploded near a
school on the outskirts of Netivot. The rocket failed to cause injuries, but
sparked panic among parents, who quickly came to take their children home. The
school was open because the city of Netivot decided to follow nonbinding IDF
Home Front Command instructions and hold classes.
A few hours later,
Palestinians sent another Grad rocket hurtling toward Beersheba. The army’s Iron
Dome system intercepted the rocket.
Following the morning attacks in the
South, the mayors of Beersheba, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Gan Yavne declared that schools would be shut in their cities. The
move was a show of no-confidence in Home Front Command assessments that a “calm”
had taken hold.
Ofakim Mayor Zvi Greengold criticized the inconsistent
manner in which some areas of the South shut schools while other areas kept
Referring to mayors who closed schools, such as Beersheba’s
Ruvik Danilovich, Greengold said that they “contradicted Home Front Command
instructions and caused confusion in other cities. The Home Front Command must
put a stop to this intolerable situation.”
The mayors said, however, that
the daily rocket attacks proved that schools remained unsafe for
“I have said clearly that when rockets are being fired, there
will be no studies,” Danilovich said.
Before dawn on Thursday, Israeli
aircraft struck terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket
attacks the day before, the IDF Spokesman said.
Late Thursday night,
Palestinian sources said IAF helicopters fired at an area in the northwestern
Gaza Strip and that Navy warships fired missiles at the coast of Gaza. No
casualties were reported and there was no confirmation of an attack by the IDF.