Over the weekend, approximately 120 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israeli population centers in southern Israel, including Beersheba, Ashdod and Ashkelon, the three largest cities in the south. Eight rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system, preventing direct hits on cities in the south (the system is not used to intercept rockets falling in open areas).
Between April 7 and 10 a total of 58 rocket and 67 mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory. Several were long-range rockets which hit north of the city of Ashdod. Several villages sustained damage to property and civilians were treated for shock. Since Thursday, eight Grad missiles and rockets were intercepted by IAF Aerial Defense Corps forces, using the "Iron Dome" systems stationed in Beersheba and Ashkelon.
Daily rocket and mortar shell fire
The farming communities of the Sha'ar Hanegev and Eshkol regional councils have been subjected to continuous mortar and rocket attacks. One of rockets that struck a kibbutz in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, late on Saturday afternoon, hit a main water pipe. One rocket fell in the Eshkol Regional Council area and caused damage to homes. Three people remained hospitalized at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon suffering from shock after experiencing rocket attacks. Six other shock victims were released to their homes. Three Grad rockets exploded in the Ofakim area on Saturday, one near a school fence in the Merchavim Regional Council causing minor damage. Rockets also fell in the Lachish region, in the western Negev.
Summary of IDF activity in response attacks from Gaza
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)
Over the past 48 hours, in response to the incident in which a school bus was hit with an anti-tank missile near Sa'ad on Thursday, April 7, 2011, combined Israel Air Force, Armored and Infantry forces are operating in the Gaza Strip in order to restore the calm to Israel's southern communities.
IAF aircraft and armored forces targeted eleven squads of terrorists in the northern and southern Gaza Strip, immediately following their firing of rockets and mortars at the Israeli home front, deliberately targeting Israeli civilians.
Following heavy rocket and mortar fire at residents of the Eshkol Regional Council, fired from within a civilian neighborhood in southern Gaza on Friday (April 8), an IAF aircraft targeted two terrorist squads at the launch sites. Next to one of the targets, in addition to the terror squad, uninvolved civilians were apparently injured. The IDF regrets that the Hamas terrorist organization chooses to operate from within its civilian population, using it as a "human shield".
Footage released the Hamas' military wing shows the launching of rockets from the heart of a civilian area in Gaza.