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The Israel Air Force carried out attacks on four targets in the Gaza Strip Tuesday night, in retaliation for the firing of a Grad rocket at Be'er Sheva on Monday night.

In a fifth air strike the IAF targeted a squad of Palestinian militants preparing to fire a mortar shell into Israeli territory.

Monday's Grad rocket exploded in an open area north of the city shortly before midnight, presumably fired by Islamic Jihad militants.

The Red Color alert was sounded, and while no injuries were reported, the alarm did cause some of the inhabitants of Be'er Sheva's Regev Boulevard protest tent city to run for sturdier cover.

"We don't plan to leave the tent over one siren. We intend to stay unless the situation deteriorates," one protester asserted.

Israel Defense Forces officials said they believe Hamas does not want an escalation of tension with Israel, in part because it does not want to harm the chances for a prisoner exchange deal that would include the release of abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, and in part because it wants to focus on rebuilding the Gaza Strip.