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      Enemy Fires 50 Rockets and Shells at Israel Tuesday, 5 Injured

      Five people were wounded Tuesday afternoon in a barrage of Kassam rockets fired at Sderot by Palestinian Authority terrorists in Gaza.
      By Hana Levi Julian
      First Publish: 1/15/2008, 6:52 PM

      The enemy in Gaza kept firing anti-civilian terror rockets at Sderot and the Gaza perimeter late Tuesday evening, bringing the reported total of such rocket strikes to 25 Tuesday. The enemy fired another 25 mortar rounds at Israel as well.

      The Gazan terrorists fired seven rockets from northern Gaza at the western Negev late Tuesday night. All four exploded harmlessly in open fields in the Sdot Negev Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported. A 19-year-old man was hit by flying shrapnel in Sderot earlier in a "Kassam" rocket attack. The rocket, which exploded in the center of town, followed an attack less than an hour earlier that knocked out power in several areas around Sderot after a Kassam hit a power line. Two rockets fired earlier in the evening landed in open fields in the western Negev.

      Seven year old girl injured
      Earlier Tuesday afternoon, Palestinian Authority terrorists in northern Gaza fired a barrage of seven Kassam rockets at Jewish towns in the western Negev, injuring four people and sending several others into shock.

      A woman and a seven-year-old girl were both hit by flying shrapnel when rockets hit two houses in the same neighborhood in Sderot.  Three other people were lightly wounded, according to the IDF. Two were hit by shrapnel in the same attack and a number of others were treated for shock .

      The wounded were evacuated to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon – a city in which a neighborhood was hit by a Kassam rocket for the first time earlier in the day. A number of strategic installations are located in the southern coastal city. Until this week, only the slightly weaker Kassams had reached Ashkelon.

      One of the rockets in the afternoon barrage also hit a chicken processing plant, the same factory where Sderot resident Yaakov Yakobov was killed in a November 2006 Kassam attack.

      Earlier in the day, 20-year-old Carlos Chavez, an Ecuadorian volunteer, was murdered by terrorist sniper fire as he worked in the potato fields at Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha, located near the security fence with Gaza.

      Approximately 25 mortar shells and 25 Kassam rockets were fired at Sderot and nearby communities since Tuesday morning, most damaging nothing and hurting no one. The Hamas terrorist organization’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades gang claimed responsibility for the attacks.

      The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades is one of three Hamas gangs who together kidnapped IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit in a cross-border raid near the Kerem Shalom crossing in June 2006.  Shalit’s condition and whereabouts are still unknown.

      IDF Retaliates

      The IDF carried out two air strikes against mortar shell launching gangs, in addition to an air strike against a group of armed terrorists traveling in a vehicle. In each strike, IDF soldiers identified hitting targets. Despite terrorists firing mortar shells and anti-tank missiles at IDF forces, no injuries or damage were reported by the troops.

      More than 15 terrorists were hit during the operations, described by an IDF spokesman as an operation carried out "to distance terrorist organizations from the security fence and in order to prevent Kassam rocket and mortar shell launchings into Israel."

      Israel Air Force pilots carried out an additional air strike on a group of terrorists later in the day after they fired Kassam rockets at Israel. One terrorist was killed and two were wounded in the strike.