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Fresh barrage of Gaza rockets fired into southern Israel

03-10-2012 17:16 BJT

JERUSALEM, March 10 (Xinhua) -- A fresh barrage of rockets was fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel on Saturday morning, with no injuries reported.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel's Iron Dome missile shield system has intercepted at least four rockets over the southern city of Ashdod early Saturday morning, where sirens have sounded throughout the night.

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz was meeting with senior Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officials regarding the recent escalation in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip, the English-language daily reported Saturday on its website.

Among those present at the meeting were Deputy Chief of Staff Major General Yair Naveh, Southern Command Major General Tal Russo, and representatives from the Israel Air Force, the report said.

Since Friday, a total of more than 50 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza, a spoksperson of Israel Defense Forces told Xinhua Saturday, adding that the attack left one person seriously injured.

The Jerusalem Post reported Saturday that at least 80 rockets have been fired into south Israel, of which approximately 65 rockets landed in Israel's southern region and at least 10 were intercepted by the Iron Dome. It also said that the rocket attack has left eight people injured.

The rocket attack took place after the Israel Air Force Friday afternoon launched a strike in Gaza and killed the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), who was believed to be planning a major attack on Israel's southern border.

IDF said the killed secretary-general of the PRC Zuhir al-Qaisi, had been planning "a terror attack" on Highway 12, which runs along the Egypt-Israel border, and was the site of a deadly attack in August 2011, in which eight Israelis were killed.

According to the IDF, al-Qaisi was one of the organizers of the August attack.

Al-Qaisi was reportedly in his car in northern Gaza, along with his collaborator Mahmoud Hanani, when the IDF fired two missiles at the vehicle, killing the two.

Earlier Friday, prior to the IDF's targeting of al-Qaisi, two mortars were fired into Israel from Gaza.

IDF officials called the mortar volley "unprovoked" and indicated that it was not in response to any army operations in the coastal enclave.

Following the IDF's targeting of al-Qaisi, rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza at the southern Israeli cities of Be'er Sheva, Ashdod, Kiryat Malachi, Netivot, and Ashkelon, forcing more than 500,000 Israelis to stay in shelters, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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