Gaza rockets pound southern Israel

Oct. 24, 2012 at 8:22 AM
| License Photo

BEERSHEBA, Israel, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Israeli forces hit Gaza, killing three Palestinians, following the firing of scores of rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel, the army said.

More than 77 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israeli communities since Tuesday, 65 of them Wednesday morning, the army said. The Israeli air force retaliated with five airstrikes against rocket firing crews in Gaza.

Palestinian media reports said three Palestinians were killed in the strikes, all members of Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committee.

"We cannot be fired at and sit idly by. Gaza must decide whether it wants to develop or continue serving as a hub for terrorism and murder," Israeli President Shimon Peres said.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Army Radio Israel is determined to restore calm in the South.

The army's Home Front command instructed residents to remain inside fortified areas and schools were suspended in the Eshkol, Sha'ar Hanegev and Sdot Negev regional council areas. In other areas near the Gaza Strip, schools remained open since they are all fortified, Ynetnews reported.

Three foreign workers were injured, two seriously, and four homes suffered direct hits in the Ashkelon coastal region and the western Negev early Wednesday, Israel Radio said. Two of the workers were airlifted to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba. An Israeli woman suffered slight injuries when she fell as she ran to a bomb shelter, the report said.

The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted seven rockets fired at the Ashkelon coastal region.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Maine man dead after shooting firework off head, police say
Greeks vote overwhelmingly to reject creditors' bailout
'Serial stowaway' arrested again at Chicago's O'Hare, Midway airports
Russian resupply spacecraft docks onto ISS to deliver needed provisions
Third disturbance in four days erupts at Arizona prison