Palestinian Rocket Hits Ashkelon

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ASHKELON, Israel - Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired a Grad-type Katyusha rocket at the coastal city of Ashkelon on Sunday evening.

At approximately 7:20 p.m., air raid sirens warned residents to take cover from the incoming missile, which exploded in an industrial area in southern Ashkelon. Several residents were treated for shock and an elderly woman was slightly injured as she tried to seek shelter.

Earlier Sunday, Palestinians fired two Kassam rockets and a mortar shell into southern Israel.

Sunday's attacks followed a barrage of more than 50 mortar shells fired by Palestinians on southern Israel Saturday morning. Israel Defense Forces ordered residents of the Eshkol Regional Council to remain indoors throughout the morning. A building in Kibbutz Kissufim sustained heavy damage and two people suffered shrapnel wounds.

The IDF responded with helicopter gunships and tank fire targeting the terror infrastructure. Six Palestinians were injured, according to sources in Gaza.

On Sunday evening, Palestinians fired six more mortars at the Eshkol region, but no further property damage or injuries were reported.

On Friday, Palestinians fired 16 mortar shells on southern Israel.

The renewed cycle of rocket attacks is the highest since the IDF's three-week incursion into the Gaza Strip two years ago. If the attacks continue to escalate, the IDF may have to consider another military operation there.

Meanwhile on Friday, the Israeli Navy intercepted a German freighter carrying 50 tons of Iranian-made weaponry hidden behind bags of lentil beans and rice.

The freighter, which set sail from Syria and docked in Turkey overnight, was headed for the Egyptian port city of Alexandria. The weapons would have been transported by land to Hamas smuggling tunnels near the Rafah border crossing. 

Navy vessels escorted the ship to Israel's Ashdod port, where the cargo was unloaded and evaluated.  

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