Rocket attack March 9, 2012 (Eli Hershkovitz)
Remnants of rocket that exploded in southern Israel, March 9, 2012. Photo by Eli Hershkovitz
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After several hours of quiet on Saturday morning, five rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel in the early afternoon, continuing the escalation of violence that began on Friday.

One of the rockets exploded in an open area near Be'er Sheva. Two fell in the Ramat Eshkol Regional Council, a fourth in the Ashkelon Beach region and a fifth in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. None caused injuries or damage.

Also on Saturday, Palestinians said that an Israeli air strike killed two people riding on a motorcycle in Gaza's Khan Younis.

Since Friday, a total of more than 60 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza. During the escalation, the Iron Dome system has intercepted 25 of 27 rockets that it has targeted. The Iron Dome is designed to only intercept rockets that are identified as heading toward populated areas.

On Friday, eight people in Israel were wounded by rocket fire and some damage was reported.  

On Friday afternoon, the Israel Air Force launched a strike in Gaza and killed the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees, Zuhir al-Qaisi, who was believed to be planning a large terror attack on Israel's southern border.

Earlier Friday, prior to the IAF's targeting of al-Qaisi, two mortars were fired into Israel from Gaza.

On Friday night, IAF aircraft struck six targets in Gaza: two weapons manufacturing sites and two rocket launching sites in northern Gaza, a weapons manufacturing site in central Gaza, and a terror activity center in southern Gaza.

Also overnight, the IAF targeted a terrorist in central Gaza and six terrorist cells in northern and central Gaza as they prepared to launch projectiles at Israel, the IDF said.

In Gaza, 14 Palestinians have reportedly been killed since Friday in IAF strikes. Most of the dead were Islamic Jihad operatives.

Read this article in Hebrew