Arab terrorists operating out of the northern Gaza Strip fired three rockets at the southern Israel port city of Ashkelon on late Tuesday night.
The rockets all landed in Ashkelon’s vulnerable southern industrial zone, which is home to one of Israel’s largest power plants and numerous chemical storage facilities. There were no injuries in the attack.
Earlier on Tuesday, Gaza-based terrorists fired 12 rockets at the battered southern Israel town of Sderot, hitting several buildings. A 14-year-old Israeli girl was wounded by shrapnel, and three other people were treated for smoke inhalation.
Israeli forces responded to the rocket barrage with an air strike on a Hamas position in southern Gaza that killed seven members of the Islamic terror group.
Two other Hamas gunmen were killed earlier in the day during an exchange of fire with a small Israeli incursion force operating near the Gaza-Sinai border.
Israeli military sources cited by Ha’aretz said that if the escalation of violence emanating from Gaza continues, the army will have no choice but to launch a full-scale ground invasion of the territory.
Meanwhile, an Israeli government panel is reportedly examining options for the insertion of an international peacekeeping force into Gaza.
Hamas firmly opposes such a move, insisting that its forces alone will control Gaza. Israeli security officials have also voiced concern, noting that international peacekeepers stationed in southern Lebanon have repeatedly been used as a shield from behind which Hizballah forces can attack Israel.