Ashdod rocket strike - Ilan Assayag Octobner 26 2011
The site where the rocket hit near Ashdod, October 26, 2011. Photo by Ilan Assayag
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In response to the firing of a rocket that hit an open territory near the city of Ashdod on Wednesday night, the Israel Defense Forces targeted four sites in the Gaza Strip overnight Wednesday.

The Israel Air Force targeted three terror activity sites in the central Gaza Strip and an additional weapons storage facility in the southern Gaza Strip, and direct hits were confirmed, the IDF spokesperson said.

“The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, and will continue to operate with strength and determination against anyone who uses terror against the State of Israel. The Hamas terror organization is solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip,” The IDF spokesperson said in a statement.

A Grad rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip and exploded near Ashdod late on Wednesday. There were no reports of injuries, but a number of people were treated for shock.

Sirens went off in Rehovot, Rishon Letzion and other cities in the area and the residents were told to take shelter.

Earlier this month, An Israeli air strike wounded three Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip. An Israeli military spokeswoman said the air strike targeted a militant squad that was preparing to launch rockets across the border into Israel.

The Israel-Gaza border has been mostly quiet since Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire after five days of cross-border violence in August.

It is still unclear which Palestinian group launched the rockets. However, Israeli intelligence officials believe that Hamas has no interest in escalation, as it is trying to leverage its success in bringing about the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners, and are not behind the rocket attacks. Officials believe that a small faction is behind the attacks, which contradicts Hamas’ current policy in the Strip.