Saturday, April 16, 2011

Air strikes follow two Grad launches, rockets explode in open areas near Ashdod; no injuries reported in rocket launches or IDF strikes; flare-up breaks informal ceasefire brokered after serious week of escalation.
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The IAF attacked two Hamas military bases near Gaza City overnight Friday following two Grad rockets fired towards Ashkelon. One of the Hamas bases hit in Gaza was north of Zeitun, and the other near the Shati refugee camp. No casualties were reported.

The IDF spokesperson said that the strikes were in response to the Grad rockets fired at Ashdod earlier Friday and said the army will "not accept rocket fire at southern communities and will operate against all acts of aggression against Israeli citizens."

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Video: Iron Dome intercepts Grad rocket fired from Gaza

Earlier Friday, following nearly a week of quiet for the residents of the South, sirens were heard in the Ashdod area, a warning issued after two Grad rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip.

The rockets exploded in open fields and no injuries or damage were reported.

The communities bordering the Gaza Strip had enjoyed a short period of relative quiet since last Sunday. A tense quiet settled over southern Israel this week after a shaky informal cease-fire went into effect, ending several days of attacks from Gaza and IDF counterattacks.

Defense officials said that the IDF would remain on high alert along the border.

Last Sunday, a Kassam rocket hit south of Ashkelon but on Monday the border was quiet, with the IDF, Hamas and Islamic Jihad abiding by a cease-fire reportedly brokered by United Nations representatives in Israel.

IDF sources said they predicted that while the cease-fire had gone into effect, it would likely be limited in time.

“We succeeded in postponing a large-scale conflict with Hamas but that conflict is likely inevitable,” one senior officer said on Monday.


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