Palestinian forces operating out of civilian areas in the northern Gaza Strip fired at least 10 missiles and 15 mortar shells at communities in southern Israel on Tuesday, causing widespread damage but no injuries.
During a wave of rocket attacks during the morning hours, a house in the hard-hit town of Sderot and a community medical station in a nearby kibbutz were heavily damaged after sustaining direct hits.
Ten Israelis were treated for severe shock following the attacks.
Commenting on the ongoing violence emanating from Gaza, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said now is not the time to lend Hamas legitimacy and the opportunity to regroup by agreeing to a ceasefire.
Israel is under increasing US pressure to reach a ceasefire with Hamas before President George W. Bush arrives in the region on May 14. Bush plans to use his time here to push forward his vision achieving a final status peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority before the end of his presidency, and doesn't want the inconvenient Gaza violence to thwart his agenda.