Iron Dome intercepts 5 rockets as barrage continues

Escalation in South: Rocket lands in Beersheba, causes damage to building; 8 hurt, 1 seriously, by Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza as over 50 rockets land in South after IAF Gaza strike kills PRC chief.

Kassam rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip 311 (R) (photo credit: Nikola Solic / Reuters)
Kassam rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip 311 (R)
(photo credit: Nikola Solic / Reuters)
The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted five rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Beersheba and Ashdod early Saturday morning.
Palestinian terrorists fired at least 50 rockets from Gaza into southern Israel since Friday night, leaving eight people injured. The barrages came after an air strike killed the secretary general of the Popular Resistance Committees, Zuhair Qaisi.
A Palestinian rocket fired from Gaza landed in Beersheba early Saturday morning, activating air raid sirens and sending residents fleeing for cover.
Police said that the rocket caused damage to a building. No injuries were reported.
The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a total of ten rockets fired from Gaza Friday night and Saturday morning, the IDF said.
The IAF struck six targets in Gaza overnight Friday in response to the rocket attacks from the Strip earlier in the day that left at least eight people injured.
In the Eshkol Regional Council a 40-year-old man was seriously injured, a second man was moderately injured by shrapnel in his stomach and a third was lightly injured. Paramedics said the injured appear to be foreign workers. An electric pole and a vehicle were also damaged in the attack.
Two additional people were lightly injured in a car accident that occurred during an air raid siren at the Emunim Junction between Ashdod and Ashkelon. Three other people in the South were lightly injured while fleeing for cover during sirens. One other civilian was being treated for shock.
The injured were taken to the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot and the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, as well as the Soroka Medical Center in Be'ersheba. In the Be'er Tuvia area, police located a rocket explosion site. The windows of a home were shattered and a car was damaged. No injuries were reported.
Police said late Friday night that two rockets were fired from Gaza at Ashdod and a third in the direction of Kiryat Malachi.
No injuries or damages were reported.
Earlier on Friday, three rockets were fired at the greater Ashdod region, where an air raid siren rang out, before three explosions were heard.
The barrage of rockets followed an IAF air strike that killed the secretary general of the Popular Resistance Committees, Zuhair Qaisi.
The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) swiftly called for retaliation following the first IAF strike that killed Qaisi, as well as senior PRC member Ahmad Hanini. A third man was also injured in the attack. The IAF struck a vehicle in a move to thwart a large-scale terror attack that was in its last stages of preparation, according to the IDF spokesperson.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Israel was responsible for what he called "a grave escalation."
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also condemned the strike.
The IDF stated that the attack was part of an operation to thwart the intentions of terrorists to carry out terror attacks in Sinai, along the border between Israel and Egypt. Qaisi had been planning and leading over the past few days, a major terror attack against Israeli targets, and the strike was conducted in order to prevent the attack, the IDF said in a statement.
It added that the IDF was not interested in escalation but was ready to defend Israel and would respond forcefully and decisively against against any attempt at terrorist activity.Reuters contributed to this report