February 28: Palestinian terrorists fired six rockets at southern Israel throughout Saturday. A Grad-type rocket struck an Ashkelon school, causing heavy damage to classrooms in the morning. Although a number of Ashkelon civilians were treated for shock, further injuries were prevented because the school was closed.
The Grad rocket tore through the school, after the air raid siren sounded around 8:43 am, warning Ashkelon residents of the impending rocket attack. The rocket destroyed several classrooms as shrapnel exploded everywhere. Jerusalem Post reported that Ashkelon’s Deputy Mayor, Shlomo Cohen stated that the rocket-struck school suffered damages to the point that the school would not be able to open on Sunday. “We will have to find an alternative solution for the students,” Cohen stated.
In addition, areas of the school which the Home Front Command designated as safe zones were penetrated by the rocket shrapnel. The school was on the list of Ashkelon schools waiting for further rocket reinforcement construction. The Ministry of Defense has yet to approve protection plans. Both the Ashkelon Municipality and Home Front Command have approved the rocket reinforcement plans for area schools.
No Palestinian group has yet claimed responsibility for the rocket attack on the Ashkelon school. Another Grad-rocket hit an open area just outside Ashkelon.
Experts reported that the 170 mm rockets fired at Ashkelon on Saturday were improved models, capable of greater destruction that those usually fired from Gaza. The rockets have a range of about 14 km or 8.6 miles and are designed to cause massive damage.
Also on Saturday, two Qassam rockets were fired at the western Negev, with one striking an open area in the Eshkol region and another in the Sha’ar HaNegev region in the evening.
On Friday, Palestinian terrorists fired a Qassam that hit an open area in the Sdot Negev region from northern Gaza. No damages or injuries were reported.
Since the inception of the ceasefire, over 63 rockets including Grads, Qassams and mortar rockets have struck southern Israel, lightly wounding four Israelis and sending 14 civilians convulsing into shock.
*Jpost.com and YNet News contributed to this report.