Iron Dome anti-missile system - AP - March 11, 2012
A rocket is launched from the Iron Dome anti-missile system in order to intercept a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip in Ashdod, March 11, 2012. Photo by AP
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The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system on Thursday intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza toward Ashkelon.

A second rocket was fired on Thursday, which exploded in an open area in Eshkol Regional Council. No casualties or damage was reported.

Despite the rockets, the Home Front Command announced that Israeli communities near the Gaza border will return to normal operations, with classes taking place on Friday.

During most of the day on Thursday, a relative calm was restored to the Israel-Gaza border.

Gaza militants fired seven rockets at the western Negev overnight Wednesday, including five on Thursday morning. This was despite reported Hamas attempts to end a recent violent escalation along the Strip's border with Israel.

The rockets fired in the later morning hours targeted the Eshkol Regional Council, with all of them landing in open fields and without causing casualties or damages.
Overnight, one Qassam rocket hit an open field near Ashkelon, with another launched at the southern city intercepted by an Iron Dome anti-missile battery.

Classes were canceled in Ashkelon on Thursday in light of the security situation.
On Wednesday, Hamas militants announced they were ready to stop the latest round of cross-border violence as long as Israel followed suit, in a statement issued after Israeli air strikes killed two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in a third day of fighting.

Around 70 rockets and mortars were fired into Israel from Gaza since Wednesday morning. Around 120 were fired since the start of the week.