Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip rocket fired a rocket at southern Israel overnight Wednesday. The rocket struck an open area in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, and caused no casualties.

A rocket alert siren sounded in a number of communities in the area shortly before 1 A.M.

Amid rising tensions along the Gaza border, the Israeli army earlier Wednesday deployed Iron Dome air defense systems in the vicinity of Sderot and Be'er Sheva. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said that the deployment of the batteries was part of the defense establishment's "preparation for a possible escalation."

Wednesday's rocket fire is the latest in a series of violent events that have transpired between Israel and the Hamas-controlled enclave.

On Tuesday, Palestinians opened fire over the border fence near Kibbutz Nahal Oz, killing an Israeli contract worker, employed by the Defense Ministry. Salah Abu Latif, a 22-year-old from Rahat, was struck in the chest by a single bullet while carrying out infrastructure work near the Strip together with a military unit.

In response to the shooting, the Israeli army attacked six targets in the Gaza Strip allegedly linked to the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, using air force, infantry and armored units.

A three-year-old Palestinian girl was killed in one of the attacks and six others were injured, the Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.

On Sunday, a Qassam rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip at the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, landing near a school bus station. There were no casualties and only some light damage to property was caused.

Last Friday, 27-year-old Palestinian Oudeh Hamad of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip was killed by Israeli soldiers' fire. The Israeli army said Hamed was trying to sabotage the border fence, but his family said he was just collected scrap metal and plastic in the area.