Gaza militants fire missile at Be'er Sheva for first time since Gaza war
One Grad missile hit building in residential area, causing damage; no casualties reported; Palestinians report Israeli air strike retaliation, wounding two Islamic Jihad militants.
Grad rockets were fired at the southern Israeli city of Be'er Sheva on Wednesday, several hours after the Israel Defense Forces fired at a group of militants on the Gaza border, wounding 11.
Palestinian sources reported that the Israel Air Force retaliated late Wednesday with an airstrike in eastern Gaza City, wounding three Islamic Jihad militants. The IDF confirmed the airstrike.
The IDF reportedly carried out additional retaliation later Wednesday night, launching airstrikes in multiple other locations along the Gaza Strip against militants.
Two Grad rockets were reportedly fired at Be'er Sheva on Wednesday evening, but so far only one missile is known to have landed in the city, which hit a building in a residential area of the city, causing damage, marking the first time Be'er Sheva was hit since the Gaza war in 2009.
"We heard a noise which sounded like very strong wind, but then we heard the Red Color alert. All of the students ran to the staircase, and we heard the explosion. We still don't know where the Grad fell," a student at Ben-Gurion University told Haaretz.
So far there are no reports of casualties as a result of the strike, but several people suffered from anxiety and received medical treatment.
During Operation Cast Lead in 2009, several rockets were fired at Be'er Sheva and two people were seriously wounded, including a seven-year-old boy.
Meron Reuben, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, sent a letter to the President of the Security Council, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Wednesday, imploring the UN to condemn the attack.
Reuben said in the letter that the attacks represent a clear escalation of terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip. He further noted that such attacks constitute a clear violation of international law, and must be addressed with the utmost seriousness.
Reuben's letter was prompted by a statement issued by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman who called on the UN to condemn the attacks and "not be apathetic to such a blatant act of terror".
A spokesperson for the Be'er Sheva municipality announced that school would not be canceled in light of the attack, encouraging residents to be on the alert and listen to instructions when necessary.