Three Gaza rockets hit western Negev

No injuries or damage reported as explosions occur in open areas; earlier, two grads from the Strip targeted Eilat

Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90/File)
Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90/File)

Three rockets from the Gaza Strip were fired at the western Negev shortly before midnight on Monday.

There were no injuries or damage reported, as the explosions occurred in open area in the Eshkol Regional Council.

Earlier Monday evening, two Grad rockets were apparently fired at the Red Sea resort town of Eilat, striking an open area close to the city.

The blasts were initially thought to be centered near the Le-Meridian hotel in the city’s crowded waterfront area.

The cause of the explosions was not immediately known, and Israel Defense Forces troops were dispatched to the area to search for rocket remains. The blasts came just as visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was finishing a speech at the Knesset in Jerusalem.

Eilat at night (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90/File)
Eilat at night (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90/File)

Rockets have targeted the Eilat before, usually overshooting the city or landing outside the populated area.

Israeli officials have warned of a possible escalation in violence with Palestinian militants out of Gaza, after the last week saw an uptick in rocket attacks.

On Sunday, an Israeli strike seriously injured three people, including a member of Islamic Jihad.

Earlier in the day, an Iron Dome anti-missile battery was moved near the city of Beersheba to protect it against rocket attacks. Students who attend schools without rocket protection in the coastal city of Ashdod were told to stay home Monday, signs that the military expects Gazan militants to strike back.

If rockets were fired at Eilat, they likely originated in the Sinai Peninsula, a largely lawless area that has been the source of rocket fire before. Egyptian troops are operating in the north of the peninsula with Israel’s blessing, a military source told the Times of Israel on Monday.

The summer saw a number of rocket attacks on the city, one of which was shot down by Iron Dome.

In 2010, a series of rockets fired from Sinai overshot Eilat and landed in Aqaba, Jordan, killing one person and injuring five more.

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