Yanir Yagna
November 19, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a long-range Grad rocket and seven mortar shells at western Negev on Friday, following a night-long barrage of Qassam rockets fired from the coastal enclave.

Eshkol Regional Council was hit by 3 mortar shells Friday afternoon. Another 4 bombs hit Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. No injuries or damages were reported.

Earlier on Friday Gaza militants fired a long-range Grad rocket into the western Negev.

The rocket exploded north of the Israeli town of Ofakim, with security forces struggling to pinpoint the exact location due to heavy morning fog.
The launch joined at least two earlier Qassam-rocket firings into western Negev, with no injuries or damages being reported; a third Qassam launch was reported a few hours following the firing of the Grad-type Katyusha.

The attacks comes amid growing violence in Gaza, as Israeli forces struck Army of Islam militant leaders in two separate occasions in recent weeks.
The firing of the Russian-invented Grad-type Katyusha, which has a longer range than the more makeshift Qassam rocket that has been fired by the thousands at Negev towns and villages, comes amid two recent hits of top Gaza militants by Israeli forces.

Mohammed Nimnim and Islam Yassin, killed in Israel Defense Forces air strikes on November 3 and 17, were Gazan leaders of the Army of Islam, a Palestinian Islamist group inspired by al-Qaida. Israel accused them of having planned to attack Israelis in the Egyptian Sinai.


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