Anshel Pfeffer
February 19, 2009 - 1:00am

Three Qassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip Thursday evening struck open areas in the western Negev, causing no damage or injuries. The first hit near Sderot and several hours later, two more rockets exploded near Netivot.

Two Qassams were also fired into southern Israel Thursday morning.

In response to the morning attack, Israel Air Force warplanes bombed six smuggling tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border, the army said.

There were no reports of casualties, but the attack did cause secondary blasts, according to the Israel Defense Forces, which indicated that explosives were hit in the airstrike.

The strikes took place about 30 kilometers from where a group of U.S. lawmakers was visiting.

Earlier Thursday, the IDF hit a Palestinian militant attempting to plant a bomb on the Israel-Gaza border, lightly wounding him.

The militant, who was hurt near the Keren Shalom border crossing, was later taken to a hospital in Israel for treatment.

The incident occurred shortly after Palestinian militants fired two Qassam rockets into the western Negev's Eshkol region.

The rocket attack caused neither casualties nor damage.

Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces arrested 10 wanted Palestinians overnight in the West Bank. The Palestinians were taken for investigation by the Shin Bet Security Service.

On Wednesday, a Qassam rocket hit the western Negev. The rocket exploded in a field in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, causing no casualties or damages.

The rocket strikes came amid ongoingEgyptian-brokered talks between Israel and Hamas aimed at reaching a cease-fire agreement in the Gaza Strip.

The political-security cabinet decided Wednesday to make the release of abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit a precondition to any cease-fire deal.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017