BY YANIR YAGNA, HAARETZ—
Two rockets were fired toward the southern Israeli city of Ashdod and the nearby area of Gan Yavne on Saturday, following an IDF strike on the Gaza Strip which resulted in the deaths of five Islamic Jihad militants.
One rocket exploded in an open area in Ashdod, causing no casualties. The other rocket exploded in the area of Gan Yavne, lightly wounding a 40-year-old man who sustained shrapnel wounds to his legs. Several trauma victims were also reported.
A short time afterward, a mortar shell landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council, causing no casualites מor damage.
An alarm sounded throughout Ashdod prior to the explosions, just hours after Israel Defense Forces soldiers killed a commander of the Palestinian faction and four of its munitions experts.
According to IDF sources, the strike was targeted at the cell responsible for launching a Grad rocket that exploded in Ashdod earlier this week.
Palestinian sources say the strike occurred near the Al-Sultan neighborhood, near the former Israeli settlement of Atzmona. Sources also said the strike killed commander Ahmed al-Sheikh Khalil and four senior comrades who oversaw the manufacture of bombs and rockets for the faction.
In the wake of the strike, the organization said a response would come “deep into Israeli territory.”