Four rockets fired from Gaza crashed into southern Israel on Sunday without harming anyone, Israeli police said, hours after an Israeli air raid killed a Palestinian militant.
“Two rockets fell in an uninhabited sector of the Eshkol district and another near Beersheba. There were no injuries or damage,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
“Then another rocket also fired from Gaza fell into an uninhabited area of Beersheba, and caused no injuries or damage,” he told AFP.
An Israeli air strike on Gaza had earlier killed a militant and wounded another after they had fired mortar shells at Israeli tanks on an incursion near the southern town of Khan Yunes, Palestinian medics and witnesses said.
After the firing from the Palestinian side, Beersheba mayor Rubik Danilovitch announced on public radio that local schools would be closed until further notice.
“Many of the houses in our town are not protected (against rocket fire) and we cannot play with the lives of our children. I hope that lessons can resume soon,” he said.
Palestinians named the man killed in the Israeli air raid as Kamel Qarara, 25, a member of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Gaza’s ruling Islamist Hamas movement.
The wounded man, not immediately named, was also said to be a member of the Brigades.
Israel’s military confirmed a strike by the Israel Air Force but not the allegation that Israeli armour had entered the Palestinian territory and come under Palestinian fire.
“IAF aircraft targeted a rocket-launching site and squad in the central Gaza Strip, during final preparations to fire a rocket towards southern Israel,” it said.
“Secondary explosions were identified,” it added, implying that ammunition or explosives were hit.
The exchange took place after a three-day lull between the sides brought some respite from a spike in cross-border fighting
The military statement said that so far this month Palestinians have fired more than 150 rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Late Wednesday Israeli and Palestinian officials announced an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire after a 24-hour peak in bloodshed, which saw Israeli air strikes kill four militants and armed groups firing more than 70 rockets and mortars across the border, seriously wounding two Thai workers.
Since then, as Palestinians celebrated the Eid al-Adha Muslim festival, the Israel military reported one rocket falling on open ground in southern Israel and causing no casualties before Sunday’s events.
A militant died Thursday of wounds sustained in an Israeli raid a day earlier, before the truce.
The Israeli government, under mounting public pressure, is to discuss at its weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday a programme to increase blastproofing of homes and public buildings in the area next to the border with Gaza.