A 70-year-old man was seriously wounded Saturday by a mortar round fired from Gaza and which fell in the Eshkol Regional Council.

The man was evacuated by chopper to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba for treatment.

Also Saturday, two soldiers were reported wounded in Gaza — one lightly by a mortar shell, another moderately by sniper fire.

Channel 2 estimated that roughly 70 rockets and mortars had been fired at Israel by Saturday evening. Iron Dome intercepted rockets over Beersheba, Ashkelon and Tel Aviv.

The IDF said it struck over 200 targets in the Gaza Strip since Friday morning’s attack in Rafah in which two soldiers were killed and a third was captured. Palestinians in Gaza said at least 74 Palestinians were killed in IDF bombardments and shelling in and around Rafah since midnight.

Channel 2 reported that Israel would seek to reach a unilateral end to combat in the Gaza Strip, after the Security Cabinet decided overnight that it would not negotiate with Hamas on yet another truce and would not send a delegation to Cairo at this time.

According to the report, such a decision would base the conclusion of Operation Protective Edge, launched by Israel 26 days ago, on deterrence rather than a bilateral ceasefire agreement with Hamas.

Israel told Palestinian residents from the Beit Lahiya and al-Atatara areas of the northern Gaza Strip that they could return to their homes on Saturday. Some IDF troops were pulling back from their positions in the Gaza Strip and taking up posts just inside the border with Israel.