Barak
Defense Minister Ehud Barak Photo by Yanai Yehiel
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Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a cabinet meeting Sunday that the recent rocket fire from Gaza was carried out by Palestinian breakaway groups and an Islamic Jihad organization, adding that he views the recent escalation with great severity and believs the attacks will continue..

Since the beginning of 2011 more than 340 rockets have been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The IDF redeployed the Iron Dome missile defense system near Ashkelon on Friday following days of heightened rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.

Barak said the Iron Dome was moved to Ashkelon as a result of growing tension, but added that "even so, Israel is not interested in escalation."

The defense minister added that Israel has been keeping track of "additional attempts beneath the surface to carry out terror activities, not only via rocket fire, but also by other means."

In response to the firing of Grad rockets at Israel, the IDF attacked several targets in the Gaza Strip last week, including an attack on five locations early Friday morning.

Hours before the air strike Friday a rocket fell in an open field near the town of Kiryat Gat. The rocket was the third of its kind in 24 hours, and caused no injuries or damage.

An IDF Spokesperson said that planes attacked three tunnels used for terror activity and a terror activity site in central Gaza and another terror activity site in southern Gaza.

Two additional rockets landed on Wednesday last week, one near Ashkelon and the other near Kiryat Gat. A woman was lightly wounded on Monday when a Qassam rocket landed near a kibbutz near Ashkelon.