Three People Lightly Wounded in Weekend Qassam Barrage

Some 15 Qassam rockets were launched against Israel over the weekend, lightly injuring three people. In one case, a rocket struck close to the town of Netivot, located approximately the same distance as Ashkelon from the Gaza Strip.

The launching of rockets from Gaza continued this weekend despite the large Israel Defense Forces ground offensive in the north of the Strip. Golani Brigade troops, supported by Armored Corps forces, have managed to push the rocket crews further to the south, but the rocket attacks have shifted from the Ashkelon area to Sderot and other locations to the east.

Most of the rockets landed in open fields in the Sderot area. One of them hit inside the town and three residents were lightly injured by shrapnel. They were evacuated to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon. Another civilian was slightly injured when a rocket struck in a village near Sderot.

The rocket that landed near Netivot, was fired at approximately 4 P.M. on Friday. It caused no damage.

Sappers say that the rocket was an upgraded, twin-engined Qassam, the same kind that reached Ashkelon on three occasions last week. The estimated maximum range of such a missile is 12 kilometers and it is believed that it was launched from a neighborhood to the east of Gaza City.

Netivot lies some 11 kilometers east of the Gaza Strip.

A total of five rocket launches were witnessed by IDF lookouts, an IDF spokesman said.

During the launching of the rockets, the "Red Dawn" early-warning system in Sderot was used, causing a great deal of anxiety among the residents.