4 Kassam rockets hit western Negev

Sderot protesters gather in TA; IDF commanders at under-threat Zikim base to get wage increase.

Kassam zikim 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Kassam zikim 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Kassam rockets continued to hit Israel on Thursday, with two landing near Sderot and two more hitting open areas in the western Negev. Nobody was wounded in the attacks and no damage was reported. Following the rocket strikes, IAF aircraft attacked a Kassam-launching cell in the northern Gaza Strip. The IDF confirmed hitting the cell, which they said was preparing to launch rockets towards Sderot. It was not immediately known whether anybody was wounded in the attack. Also Thursday, after two weeks of demonstrations in Jerusalem, Sderot activists left the capital and moved their protest tent to Kikar Rabin in Tel Aviv. "We came here to burst the Tel-Avivian bubble. This bubble is protected by the shield Sderot constitutes for Tel Aviv. If the shield of Sderot cracks, Tel Aviv will not be protected any longer," said Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal. Several mayors and heads of local councils in the South visited the new tent to support Sderot's struggle to fortify its houses and public facilities. "We cannot accept the current situation and the daily danger the residents of Sderot have faced for seven years. We came here because of the feeling that the residents of Tel Aviv have to understand what the people of Sderot experience," Beersheba Mayor Ya'akov Turner said. "We did not come here to set tires on fire or block the roads," said Moyal. "We came here to speak heart-to-heart to residents. We don't tell the government what to do and we don't call on it to go to war, we simply want a solution." The protesters plan to carry out demonstrations, during which they will activate a mock "Color Red" alert in Tel Aviv whenever a Kassam is fired towards Sderot and the surrounding kibbutzim. Meanwhile, non-commissioned officers and officers serving at the IDF's Zikkim Basic Training Base will receive extra salaries for serving in a high-risk area due to the threat of Kassam fire at the base south of Ashkelon, OC Manpower Gen. Elazar Stern and the head of Ground Forces Command Gen. Avi Mizrahi decided this week. Soldiers serving at the base will receive the same benefits as non-combat soldiers serving in high-risk areas in the West Bank. The salary benefit came after the base's commanders threatened to appeal to the Supreme Court if their service conditions were not adjusted to reflect the danger of serving under risk of Kassam fire. The benefit will not, however, be extended to members of the logistics network of the base, including cooks and supplies managers, a decision justified by the IDF in explaining that under emergency conditions, it is the NCOs and officers who would be expected to organize the fresh recruits in responding to any potential attack. 69 recruits were wounded at the base last year, when a Kassam rocket landed in the middle of a tent complex while soldiers slept.