soccer - Sharon Bukov - February 22 2011
Maccabi Haifa’s Mohammad Ghadir, center, celebrating his goal in the second half of a victory over Hapoel Petah Tikva. Photo by Sharon Bukov
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Due to the continuous rocket fire from Gaza, several sports games in Israel's national soccer and basketball league will be played without their fans in the crowd on Saturday.

Soccer games between Be'er Sheva and Netanya, and Ashdod and Haifa, as well as a basketball game between Tel Aviv and Ashdod will be played with no audience members due to the current security situation.

More than 70 rockets have been fired at Israel since Thursday, when Hamas fired on an Israeli school bus. Israel struck Gaza in retaliation for the attack and tension on the border has remained high since then.

The decision not to allow sports fans to attend Saturday's games was reached by the Home Front Command in collaboration with sports leagues officials and officials from the municipalities of Be'er Sheva and Ashdod, two cities in the south that have been greatly affected by the rocket barrage.

Earlier on Saturday, officials decided to postpone all soccer games in the different junior leagues in Be'er Sheva and Ashdod as a result of the security situation.