Three people were lightly injured and 13 more suffered shock when three cars of a train travelling north from Beersheba to Tel Aviv derailed on Wednesday near Kfar Menahem.
Rescue officials flooded the scene, initially fearing a mass casualty incident.
"At first we feared that the cars were overturned and there were trapped passengers, but we were glad to see that the train remained upright, resulting in a few light injuries. The rescue operation was not complex," Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Moshe Amar told The Jerusalem Post.
Four firefighting crews from Kiryat Malachi and Ashkelon burst open the doors of the derailed train, which had been disfigured in the derailment, to free the passengers.
Passengers reported hearing a loud noise as the cars went off the rails, and widespread alarm following the accident.
Israel Railways is investigating the accident, and has halted train traffic in the South to repair the damaged track.
"We neutralized sources of electricity and potential fuel leakage points - anything that could have caused a fire," Amar said.