Sunday, February 1, 2009

3 hurt by mortar fire in Sha'ar Hanegev

Original article

Two soldiers and a civilian were lightly wounded by shrapnel on Sunday evening when four mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip landed in the Sha'ar Hanegev region of the western Negev. In addition, at least one Kassam rocket landed near Sderot an hour later.

The latest ceasefire violations were one of many for the day. Earlier, IDF soldiers patrolling the Gaza border near the Kissufim crossing came under fire, and before that four Kassams and a number of mortar shells were fired at the South from the Strip.

Troops returned fire into Gaza, and no casualties or damage were reported in the attack.

One of the Kassam rockets landed between two kindergartens in the Eshkol region. Two others hit open areas nearby and a fourth hit the Sdot Negev region.

At the same time, four mortar shells also landed next to a western Negev neighborhood.

No one was wounded and no damage was reported in the morning barrage, and the warning siren was sounded before the rockets landed.

Shortly after the incidents, Fatah's military wing, the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, took responsibility for one of the rocket attacks.

Following the attack, Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer called for an immediate IDF response. "We need to respond severely and immediately... Hamas must pay for this," he told Army Radio, adding that no one should give the excuse that a smaller faction was responsible for the attack.

MK Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) urged the government to immediately respond to the attack.

Eight rockets have been fired at southern Israel since both Israel and Hamas declared cease-fires some two weeks ago at the end of Operation Cast Lead.

On Saturday, a Grad rocket fired from northern Gaza hit an open area near a kibbutz in the Ashkelon area. On Thursday, a rocket was fired at the Sha'ar Hanegev region and on Wednesday, one landed in the Eshkol region. There were no reports of casualties or damage in any of the attacks.

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