Kassams Fall as Aid Trucks Enter

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GAZA STRIP - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak authorized trucks carrying humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip on Monday, as Palestinians continued firing rockets on western Negev towns.

Residents of communities in the Eshkol Regional Council were ordered to their fortified rooms Monday morning as a volley of eight Kassams fell in the area.

There were no reports of personal injury or property damage.

Despite ongoing rocket attacks, the defense ministry allowed 30 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to enter the Strip via the Kerem Shalom crossing.

Rocket and mortar shell attacks have persisted for the past week in violation of a five-month-old cease-fire between Israel and the terror group Hamas.

On Saturday, a resident of Sderot suffered shrapnel wounds to his head and arms when a Kassam landed in his garden.

On Friday, three out of five longer-range, Grad-type Katytusha rockets landed inside the city limits of Ashkelon, situated on the coast about 11 miles north of Gaza, while farther south, Palestinians fired 10 Kassam rockets on Sderot, injuring one elderly woman.

Meanwhile, at the start of her meeting with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni blamed Hamas for the situation in Gaza.

"These are difficult days. While we are speaking here, Israeli citizens are under attack by Hamas. Israel cannot just sit by and watch as its citizens are attacked," Livni said. "When Israel is attacked, Israel must respond," she said.

"The Israeli government has a responsibility to protect its citizens, and it is the world's responsibility not to turn a blind eye and use all of the means at its disposal to stop terror," the foreign minister said.

"Hamas is taking advantage of the situation in Gaza to try to garner international support. The international community must make it clear that this is unacceptable," Livni said.

"Just as Hamas is to blame for the attacks on Israel, the group is also responsible for the situation in Gaza," she said.

While Miliband didn't take time to meet with Israeli citizens in the rocket-battered town, he toured Sderot by helicopter Sunday evening, accompanied by Barak.

Britain's foreign secretary also met with outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Likud chairman and opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu.

On Monday, Miliband will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before departing for meetings in Lebanon and Syria.

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