IAF Strikes Gaza After 24-hour Break as Rockets Rain Down on Southern Israel

Israel had waited 24 hours to give the situation a chance to calm; Grad rocket hits school in Be'er Sheva; Egyptian official says temporary cease fire will come into effect on Sunday night.

Israel Air Force warplanes hit the town of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday, in Israel’s first military response in 24 hours to sustained rocket fire on its southern communities.

Click here for timeline of violence in Israel's south

A Be'er Sheva resident examines the damage to his home after a Grad rocket strike, August 21, 2011. AP

According to Palestinian reports, seven people were hurt during one of the attacks on military headquarters in the northern Gaza Strip. Despite renewed attacks, an Egyptian official told the Palestinian news agency Maan that efforts to restore calm have succeeded, and that a temporary cease fire will come into effect on Sunday night.

The latest round of violence began Thursday, when nine people were killed in southern Israel during a series of terror attacks whose perpetrators Israel believes entered viwa Sinai but originated in the Gaza Strip.

Israel had implemented a 24-hour break in strikes on Gaza, the source of the rocket fire, in order to give the tense situation a chance to calm, and to allow the political echelon a chance to coordinate with Egypt.

Nine rockets and a barrage of mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel over the course of Saturday night and Sunday morning. The Iron Dome ballistic missile defense system successfully shot down one rocket aimed at Be'er Sheva and another three targeting the city of Ashkelon.

At least three rockets were fired at Be'er Sheva on Sunday morning, one of which struck a school building in the city. There were no casualties in that attack, as students are currently on summer break. Another six rockets were fired at Ashkelon, and a barrage of mortar shells were launched toward other communities along the Gaza border.

Members of Knesset from Israel's leading opposition party, Kadima, urged the cabinet on Sunday to launch a military campaign in the Gaza Strip, in light of the ongoing barrage of rockets.