Palestinian rockets reach Beersheva, trans-Israel highway

Wednesday, December 31, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Palestinian terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip hit the southern Israel city of Beersheva with rockets for the first time early Wednesday morning, causing damage but no injuries.

By midday, at least five Grad-type missiles had struck the city of 200,000 that is often referred to as the "capital of the Negev."

One of the rockets punched a hole in the roof of a local high school. Fortunately, the city had decided to cancel school for the day after the first rocket fell, so no students were present during the attack.

At least one rocket reportedly hit Highway 6, the new trans-Israel highway that currently stretches from just north of Beersheva to the Upper Galilee region. There were no injuries in that attack.

Among at least 35 other Palestinian rocket attacks on Wednesday morning were three strikes on the coastal city of Ashkelon while Israeli President Shimon Peres was visiting its shell-shocked residents in local bomb shelters.

Two Israelis were lightly wounded when two missiles hit the neighboring port city of Ashdod earlier in the morning.

Israel continued to respond to the Palestinian rockets with powerful air strikes against Hamas targets across the Gaza Strip.

Among the targets hit on Wednesday were the Gaza City office of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh (who is currently in hiding with the rest of the Hamas leadership) and several weapons smuggling tunnels running under the Gaza-Egypt border.

Israeli military officials said that Hamas had already suffered a significant during more than four days of Israeli strikes, and vowed to press forward until the terrorists are no longer able to threaten Israel.

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