Grad rockets fired at Beersheba


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Three long-range Grad rockets were fired at Beersheba more than a day after a truce between Gaza terrorist groups and Israel.

Two of the rockets fired Wednesday evening were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system; the third landed in an open field near Ofakim. Following the attack, Beersheba officials announced that school in the city would be canceled for the following day.

The rockets were fired despite a cease-fire brokered by Egypt that went into effect at 1 a.m. Tuesday. 

Israel’s military also violated the cease-fire, firing on what it called two "terrorist activity sites" in northern Gaza early Wednesday morning, some 24 hours after the announcement of an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire.

A statement from the Israel Defense Forces said the attack was in response to several rocket attacks from Gaza that struck Israel following the announcement. One of the eight rockets and mortars fired from Gaza landed in a parking lot in Netivot, injuring one person and damaging property.

Also Wednesday, Palestinian officials said an 8-year-old boy hurt in an Israeli attack Monday died of his injuries. A teenage boy had died in the same attack.

Terrorist groups in Gaza began launching a barrage of rockets at Israel on March 9 after Israel assassinated Zuhir Mussah Ahmed Kaisi, leader of the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces believed Kaisi was planning a terrorist strike in Israel.

More than 200 rockets were fired from Gaza on Israel.

At least 27 Palestinians, including Wednesday’s death, a 14-year-old and three other civilians, were killed in the Israeli attacks. The majority of those killed were terrorists, including 14 from Islamic Jihad, according to the IDF.

At least eight Israelis and foreign workers in Israel have been wounded, two seriously, and dozens have been treated for shock, according to reports.

Schools that had been closed for three days in cities and towns including Beersheba, Ashkelon and Ashdod reopened on Wednesday, though in some communities up to half of the students did not show up.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Treasury in consultations with the Histadrut Labor Federation agreed to compensate employers and their employees for missed work due to the rocket fire. 

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