Three mortar shells strike w. Negev

None wounded, no damage in latest Palestinian attacks; no official word on ceasefire progress.

kassam damage car 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
kassam damage car 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
With party leaders in Israel distracted by urgent coalition talks immediately following the elections on Tuesday, Palestinians took advantage of the opportunity to fire mortar shells at the western Negev. Three mortar shells launched from the Gaza Strip reportedly struck open areas in the Eshkol region on Wednesday. One hit in the morning, while two landed in the evening. Nobody was wounded and no damage was reported in either attack. Meanwhile in Turkey, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul that he wanted Abbas to have a greater role in the cease-fire negotiations between Hamas and Israel. However, despite reported progress over the weekend of a possible long-term ceasefire in the near future, sporadic rocket attacks have continued. On Tuesday night, a Kassam rocket hit an open area between the Sha'ar Hanegev and Sdot Negev regions, and on Sunday morning, a rocket set fire to several cars when it landed in a parking lot of Kibbutz Nir-Amim in the Sha'ar Hanegev region. In the past the IDF has responded with pinpoint airstrikes against either Hamas facilities in Gaza or the actual rocket-launching cells. On Sunday night, the IAF bombed two Hamas outposts in the Gaza Strip. The pilots reported direct hits. AP contributed to this report.