Palestinian terrorists continued to attack Israeli civilian areas on Wednesday, firing 18 projectiles by late afternoon, including a phosphorous mortar shell that hit the Eshkol region. In the latest attack, Kassams hit open areas near Ashdod and Ashkelon. Earlier, a rocket fell near a kibbutz in the Sdot Negev region. In the afternoon, two Grad rockets hit the Shfela region, in the central district, while Ashdod, Ashkelon, Sderot and Beersheba were also hit. No one was wounded and no damage was reported in the attacks. Although dozens of Grad-type rockets have plagued the cities during the conflict, defense officials have said that the Islamic group was nearing the end of its supply. In general, there has been a marked drop in rocket attacks as the following graph shows:
Beersheba and the Shfela region are two of the farthest points that Hamas has succeeded in hitting since the start of Operation Cast Lead, nearly two and a half weeks ago. At lunchtime Wednesday, a piercing siren went off in Jerusalem, sending city residents into a panic, and flooding city and emergency hotlines. The siren went off as a result of malfunction, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said. There were no untoward incidents in the city, either before or after the sirens went off, he said. Magen David Adom said that more than 200 people called the rescue service's emergency hotline during the roughly minute-long false alarm asking for directions. The sirens in Jerusalem, which sounded just before 1:00 p.m., went off at a time when sirens were going off in Yavne due to Palestinian rocket fired in its direction. Etgar Lefkovitz contributed to this report.