At least 75 people were hurt when a Grad katyusha rocket slammed into the Hutzot mall in Ashkelon around six in the evening. A mother and her baby were wounded, and two children lightly injured. Dozens of people were treated for shock. The casualties were taken away to the city’s Barzilai hospital.
Shoppers said that the siren did not sound, which would have given people a few seconds to take cover.
Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack, as US President George Bush and PM Olmert concluded their meeting in Jerusalem.