Woman, two children hurt in Qassam strike on Sderot
Five rockets hit Negev, leaving 10-year-old boy moderately wounded; three Gaza militants killed in IAF strikes.
Palestinian militants fired five rockets at southern Israel on Monday, three of which hit residential areas in Sderot, wounding a woman and two children.
A 10-year-old boy suffered a moderate wound to his shoulder when a Qassam struck an underground shelter in Sderot.
He was rushed into surgery, said Lea Malul, a spokeswoman for Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. During the surgery, doctors informed the boy's family that they had successfully saved his arm.
A mother and her one-year-old baby were lightly wounded in the attack, and were also taken to Barzilai Medical Center.
Two other rockets struck Sderot on Monday: one hit a house and the other exploded near a local school.
Earlier this month, 8-year-old Osher Twito, from Sderot, lost a leg in a rocket attack.
Government spokesman David Baker said in response to the attacks that "Israel will actively pursue those who strike at our children and will take whatever steps necessary to bring these lethal rocket attacks to an end."
Militants fired two more rockets at Israel on Monday. There were no injuries in either of those incidents.
Hamas official: We'll halt rocket fire if Israel ceases attacks
A senior Hamas official said Monday it would stop firing Qassam rockets at the western Negev if Israel halts all military operations against the Palestinians.
"Hamas is ready to calm down and to stop firing rockets on Sderot if Israel stops its aggression against the Palestinian people," Nazzal said to The Associated Press by telephone.
"The message is clear and doesn't require an agreement," said Nazzal, who was speaking from neighboring Lebanon.
The comments were similar to statements made by other Hamas officials, whereby Israel must halt operations in both Gaza and the West Bank - a demand that Israel rejects.
Three Hamas militants were killed and at least four others wounded early Monday in two separate Israel Air Force strikes in the Gaza Strip.
Two militants were killed when the IAF attacked the Sajiyeh neighborhood in southeast Gaza City.
Palestinian officials identified the dead as Hani Abu Salah and Tair Masah.
Another strike in the southern Gaza Strip, east of Khan Yunis, killed Hamas militant Hassam Abu Hain.
The IDF confirmed the air strike in the southern Strip, saying it targeted a group of gunmen spotted in the area.
Another Palestinian militant was found dead on Monday morning in the southern Gaza border town of Rafah.
A small Palestinian militant organization, the Popular Resistance Committees, said the man belonged to their group and was killed while firing his weapon at nearby IDF soldiers. The IDF said it had no knowledge of the incident.
The strikes on Gaza came just hours before a Hamas-planned protest began along the Gaza Strip's border, from Rafah to Erez.
Some 40,000 Palestinian women and children were expected to march in the form of a human chain to protest Israel's economic embargo on the coastal territory, though by early afternoon only a few thousand had turned out.
The IDF has beefed up its forces in preparation for the protest, fearing demonstrators may try to cross the border into Israel.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Monday that while he was unaware of infiltration threats, Israel was prepared for every scenario during the protest.
On Sunday, IDF troops uncovered five tunnels in southern Gaza used for smuggling weapons.
The tunnels were found during an IDF operation in Dahaniyeh, east of Rafah.
Troops from the Givati Brigade, Armored Corps and Engineering Corp arrested some 40 Palestinian militants suspected in terror attacks against Israel during the operation, the IDF said.