Kassam Expodes near Ashkelon

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ASHKELON, Israel - Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip continue to fire rockets on southern Israel, one landing south of the coastal city of Ashkelon on Sunday evening.

"We are witnessing a deterioration with rockets getting closer and closer to Ashkelon," Deputy Mayor Shlomo Cohen said.

The rocket landed in an open area, with no resulting injuries or property damage.

"When they say the rocket exploded in an open area, from our standpoint it is a field where farmers work," Yair Farjun, head of the Ashkelon Beach Regional Council said. "Therefore such attacks should be dealt with as [if it were] a direct hit on a house," he said.

Terrorists fired four rockets on the western Negev on Saturday, one landing near a kibbutz (agricultural community) in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council.

Palestinians have fired nine rockets and mortars on southern Israel since Thursday, one killing a 30-year-old agricultural worker from Thailand.

In response, the IAF (Israel Air Force) targeted a weapons-smuggling tunnel near the Rafah border crossing with the Egyptian Sinai. The Israel Defense Forces Spokesman's Office said the strike was successful.

"The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm the citizens of the State of Israel and will continue to operate firmly against anyone who uses terror against it. The Israel Defense Forces holds Hamas as solely responsible for maintaining peace and quiet in the Gaza Strip," a statement read.

Meanwhile on Sunday evening, Palestinian gunmen opened fire on an IDF patrol south of Hevron.

On Sunday afternoon, two Arabs tried to stab an IDF soldier near Nablus (biblical Shechem).

"During a routine patrol carried out by IDF forces southeast of Nablus, two Palestinians tried to stab a soldier. The forces opened fire in response, killing both terrorists. No soldiers were hurt and the circumstances of the incident are currently under investigation," the IDF Spokesman's Office reported.

Attempted stabbings, rock throwing and similar attacks against Israels by the Arab population has been steadily increasing over the past several months.

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