Gaza terrorists shell western Negev communities as over 50 Qassams, mortars hit area’s communities. Police chief says current round of escalation may last days.

Phpto credit: Daniel Hagbi, Sderot Media Center

Eleven Border Guard officers were wounded Tuesday night as a result of rocket fire on the western Negev. One officer sustained moderate injuries, while the others were lightly hurt.

The officers were rushed to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. Hospital officials said they were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit suffering from shrapnel and blast injuries. A short while later a Qassam rocket hit the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, but no one was hurt.

Ten more Qassams were lobbed into the western Negev overnight Wednesday. Two of the rockets landed in an Eshkol Regional Council community, but caused no injuries. However, a packing facility was damaged. The alert level in the area was raised once again.

In response to the rocket fire, Israeli aircraft attacked seven targets across the Gaza Strip overnight. Palestinian sources in the Hamas-ruled territory said no one was hurt in the strikes.

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired over 50 rockets and mortar shells at Israel’s western Negev region since Tuesday afternoon.

The Home Front Command instructed the residents of the Gaza vicinity communities to stay in very close proximity to shelters and other fortified structures.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak convened the defense establishment’s top officials for a situation assessment.

A Defense Ministry source said that “a wide range of retaliatory actions are under review.”

Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino noted Tuesday night that the current round of violence between Gaza and Israel may continue for several days: “I hope (the violence) won’t expand, but we are preparing for the possibility that it may reach the larger and more distant cities,” he said.

Danino ordered the Southern District Police on high alert following Monday’s terror attack on the Israel-Egypt border. Also on Tuesday, Palestinian sources said a two-year-old girl was killed and her brother was wounded as a result of an explosion in their home in the Zeitun neighborhood, east of Gaza City.

The Palestinians claimed that the explosion was a result of an IAF strike – an allegation the IDF vehemently denies.

Later Tuesday night an IDF Spokesperson’s statement said that no strike was launched at the area and that the explosion was a result of a Qassam rocket, which hit the two’s home.


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