Qassam Rocket Fired From Gaza Strip Lands Near Ashkelon

Palestinians: Gazan militant killed near border with Israel; Hamas: Gaza sniper aimed for Public Security Minister Dichter.

A Qassam rocket was fired at Ashkelon on Saturday from the Gaza Strip, and landed in an open field south of the city's industrial zone. No injuries or damage was reported in the incident.

Ashkelon went into a state of alert as sirens sounded for the first time since the last escalation between Israel and Hamas.

A spokesperson for the Ashkelon municipality said the sirens should not have been activated, since the rocket landed in an area that did not pose a threat.

Earlier on Saturday, Palestinian medical officials said a Gaza man has been killed close to the territory's fence with Israel.

Local residents said the farmer was killed in the northern Gaza Strip after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants toward Israel fell short and hit him.

Israel Defense Forces officials said Palestinian militants fired at troops along the fence in the area but that the soldiers did not return fire.

Spokespeople for militant groups did not immediately comment on the death on Saturday.

Hamas: Gaza sniper aimed for Public Security Minister DichterOn Friday, Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida announced that sniper fire from Hamas' military wing, which wounded Public Security Minister Avi Dichter's bureau chief near Gaza, was in fact aimed at the minister himself.

Dichter's senior aide Mati Gil sustained moderate wounds in the attack, but the minister himself was not hurt. The military wing of Gaza's ruling Hamas movement claimed responsibility for the shooting shortly after the attack.

Several additional militant groups also claimed responsibility, including the militant offshoot of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party, and two little-known radical Islamic groups inspired by Al-Qaida, the Army of the Nation and Protectors of the Homeland.

The gunfire erupted while Gil and Dichter were touring the Givat Nazmit observation point overlooking the Gaza Strip and adjacent to the security fence.