Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a barrage of at least 30 rockets at southern Israel on Friday, just hours after the United Nations passed a resolution calling for an immediate truce between Israel and Hamas.
At least seven rockets hit the western Negev by 8 A.M., all of them striking cities previously considered out of the range of rocket fire.
Four Grad rockets exploded in open fields near Be'er Sheva at around 7 A.M., two more rockets struck the Ashkelon area just after and minutes later, a seventh hit Ashdod. There were no casualties reported in any of those incidents.
Another two rockets exploded in fields near Ashkelon just before 8 A.M. Three more Grads struck near Be'er Sheva at around 10 A.M. and another hit the area before noon.
Two rockets exploded in the Eshkol Regional Council just before 9 A.M., lightly wounding one person. About half an hour later, three more rockets struck the Negev city of Sderot. Another two exploded in fields outside of the city at aroun 11 A.M. There were no reports of casualties in that incident.
Another barrage struck Ashdod, Ashkelon and Yavneh toward early afternoon.
At least 30 rockets struck the Negev on Thursday, leaving four people wounded and a number more suffering from shock. Two people were seriously wounded from rockets which exploded in the Eshkol Regional Council.
For the first time since fighting began in the Gaza Strip 13 days ago, rockets also hit northern Israel. Lebanon on Friday announced that it had arrested a cell of Palestinian militants responsible for firing the rockets.
As fighting raged in the south, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Friday morning, prior to the meeting, that Israel would consider its own security interests before agreeing to a truce.
Meanwhile, Israeli, Egyptian and other foreign diplomats sought to negotiate a separate formula for bringing the fighting to an end.
Israel's political-security cabinet met Friday morning to determine whether to expand the ground operation in Gaza.
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