Rocket attacks from Gaza continue into 3rd night

Over 160 rockets and mortar shells fall on Israel in 3 day period; additional rocket slams into residential neighborhood in Beersheba, damaging 15 homes; schools canceled for second day.

Rocket-damaged school in Beersheba 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Rocket-damaged school in Beersheba 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Terrorists in Gaza fired rockets into Israeli territory for the third straight night, while the Iron Dome defense system continued to intercept rockets fired at the South's larger cities.
The latest rocket launches came amid an escalation in violence along the Gaza border that began after the IAF foiled a major terror attack, killing the secretary general of the Popular Resistance Committees, Zuhair Qaisi in a bombing on Friday.
At least four rockets were fired towards Ashkelon Sunday evening. The Iron Dome defense battery deployed near the city intercepted one rocket, while the other three landed near the city in open fields. No damages or injuries were caused in the attacks.
Earlier, a rocket fired towards Ofakim - a small city about halfway between Beersheba and the Gaza Strip - also landed in an open area causing no damage or injuries.
At least five rockets landed in the Eshkol Regional Council, which abuts the Gaza Strip and includes a number of small communities. The rockets landed in open fields. No casualties resulted from those attacks.
The Home Front command along with the heads of a number of local authorities in Israel’s south gave the order on Sunday night to cancel school in all towns and cities located between 7km to 40km from the Gaza Strip for the second day in a row.
The ban applies to the cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba, Netivot, Sderot, Kiryat Malachi, Gadera, Rahat, Yavneh, Lakiyeh, and the Gan Yavneh Regional Council.
Schools in the western Negev that are closer than 7km to the Gaza Strip will hold class as usual, as they have the necessary reinforcement to protect against the incoming rockets, the Home Front Command said Saturday.
Sapir College in Sderet will stay open for classes on Monday despite the ongoing rocket attacks threatening southern Israel.
A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip hit a school in Beersheba on Sunday, exploding in its courtyard and damaging its outer walls. A second rocket slammed into the middle of a residential neighborhood in the city, damaging 15 homes and causing several residents to suffer shock.
smoke trails a rocket (Reuters)
smoke trails a rocket (Reuters)
"This is the first strike inside a city since the beginning of the current escalation," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said of the attack.
Magen David Adom paramedics were on the scene, treating Beersheba residents for trauma and shock.
On Sunday, 40 rockets were fired into Israel and 14 were intercepted by the Iron Dome counter rocket defense system. A fourth battery will be deployed in the coming weeks. IDF sources said that around 160 rockets have been fired into Israel since the beginning of the violence on Friday afternoon.
Yaakov Katz, Ben Hartman and Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.