Kassams hit Israel after terrorist killed


JERUSALEM (JTA) — At least six Kassam rockets and a mortar shell hit Israel hours after Israeli troops killed an Islamic Jihad commander in the West Bank.

Four of the rockets landed in open areas in southern Israel on Tuesday morning. Following the attacks, Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the border crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip closed, including to a shipment of humanitarian supplies scheduled for later Tuesday.

One of the rockets fired Tuesday afternoon landed in the soccer field of Sderot’s Sapir College. Several people were treated for shock, Ha’aretz reported. Following the attack, Israel defense Force troops hit a Kassam launcher in northern Gaza, according to reports.

A 23-year-old Islamic Jihad commander of the northern West Bank was killed Monday night while trying to evade arrest during an operation by the Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet.

The attack comes just days before a six-month truce between Israel and Hamas is set to end. Israelis are questioning the efficacy of the truce as the rockets continue to fly and in the face of statistics released Monday night by Israel’s security establishment. The numbers show that some 2,900 rockets have been fired at Israel in 2008, as compared to 1,200 rockets and 600 mortar shells in 2007. 

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