Gaza Rocket Hits Playground in Ashdod, Amid Barrage on Negev

Grad hits Be'er Sheva car as high-schoolers return to class; 22 rockets hit South by Sunday evening.

A total of 22 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip struck Israel on Sunday, one of which exploded in an empty school playground in the northern Negev city of Ashdod. There were no casualties in the incident.

Another rocket exploded about 10 meters from the home of Sderot Mayor David Buskila. Earlier in the afternoon, two rockets struck the central Negev city of Be'er Sheva, damaging property.

A barrage of seven rockets fired on Sunday afternoon exploded in open areas in the western Negev.

Three of them landed in the territory of Eshkol Regional Council, three others hit fields in Yoav Regional Council, and the seventh rocket fell in an open area in Ashkelon.

Earlier Sunday, two rockets struck Be'er Sheva, one of which directly hit a car, as Palestinian militants continued the cross-border barrage.

Two people in Be'er Sheva suffered from shock in the rocket attacks on Sunday.

The rockets struck the southern city just as eleventh and twelfth graders were instructed to return to the classrooms, nearly two weeks after studies were suspended due to the ongoing rocket attacks from Gaza. High school classes resumed in Ashdod, Kiryat Malachi and Gan Yavneh as well.

"I wouldn't exactly say that we've settled back into our routine, but it's the beginning of a routine," Education Minister Yuli Tamir told Army Radio Sunday morning. "Anyone going back to school today will be studying inside protected areas. We are operating gradually and in accordance with [military] instructions."

All students in Sderot have resumed their studies inside bomb shelters and protected structures. In Ofakim, all students who attend protected schools have gone back to class. In Ashkelon and the surrounding area, however, students will not be attending classes while rockets continue to target the city.

Shortly after the rockets hit Be'er Sheva, militants in Gaza fired two Grad rockets at the southern city of Netivot. Both rockets struck open areas and caused no damage or injuries.

An additional rocket landed in an open area in Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council.

On Saturday, at least 21 Palestinian rockets hit Israeli territory, wounding 14 people. The number of rockets fired from Gaza was somewhat lower than had been shot daily since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead on December 27.

An Ashkelon man was lightly wounded and required medical attention after a Qassam rockets slammed into his apartment building Saturday in the center of town. In addition, the Ashkelon city center sustained another Qassam strike Saturday.

As rescue forces were evacuating the wounded man to the hospital, another rocket hit the city, exploding in another apartment building. One man who was in his backyard at the time sustained medium wounds from shrapnel.

Just after the IDF resumed fighting at 4 P.M. - after suspending hostilities for three hours to allow in humanitarian aid - two Grad rockets were launched into Ashdod. One of the rockets exploded in an open area in Gan Yavneh.

In total, Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon received 14 patients who had been injured by Qassam fire on Saturday, 13 lightly wounded and one suffering from medium wounds. Two of the wounded were seven-year-old twins, Mika and Danny Gorlik.

Additionally, the hospital treated no fewer than 27 people who were suffering from shock.

Sitting beside the Gorlik twins was Avraham Hayal, a combat fighter wounded in Gaza. He required surgery after sustaining injuries yesterday from an explosion inside a booby trapped house.