Kassam Attack Prompts Border Closings

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HOF ASHKELON, Israel - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak closed border crossings with the Gaza Strip Wednesday in response to a Kassam rocket attack Tuesday evening.

A Palestinian group affiliated with Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the rocket, which landed in an open area in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council near the coast city of Ashkelon, causing no personal injuries or property damage.

The latest Kassam attack, the 28th rocket fired during the six-month tadhiyeh (temporary calm), comes a few weeks before the cease-fire ends.

Meir Farjun, head of the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, said despite the relative quiet since June 19, area residents know it's temporary.

"As far as we're concerned, so long as [captured Israel Defense Forces Corporal] Gilad Shalit is being held in Gaza, there will always be someone who will try to launch Kassams in the hopes that [Israel's] response will stall the negotiations for his release," Farjun said.

"Every two weeks, we hold drills for all the security teams and simulate rocket attacks," he said.

Earlier in the week, Barak met with regional council heads of Gaza perimeter communities.

"The cease-fire is fragile by its very nature, but we have nothing to regret," Barak told the area leaders. "The cease-fire lasted longer than expected and may continue," he said.

Sources: YNet News, israel national news

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