Mortars strike western Negev


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Three mortar shells and a Kassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit the western Negev.

The explosives landed near a kibbutz, damaging a fence. The Color Red alert warned residents before the strikes overnight Sunday. A Kassam rocket fired from Gaza had landed in the same area earlier Sunday evening.

Late last week, two Grad rockets were fired from Gaza at southern Israel and Israel’s Air Force retaliated by striking five terrorist targets in Gaza.

Since the beginning of 2011 more than 340 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday called the escalation of rocket attacks from Gaza serious and said he believes the attacks will continue and intensify.

Barak told the Cabinet that the attacks are being carried out by Palestinian breakaway groups, as well as by an organization affiliated with Islamic Jihad.

as a result of the increase in attacks, Barak said late last week that he moved the Iron Dome missile defense system to near Ashkelon.

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