Twisted hulk of a long-range Grad missile
Twisted hulk of a long-range Grad missileIsrael News Photo: Flash 90

Military censors cleared for publication Tuesday the news that Gaza terrorists for the first time unleashed long-range Grad-type 122-mm. Katyusha rockets a day earlier in attacks on the cities of Ashdod and Yavneh.

According to an IDF spokesperson, one of the missiles exploded on the southern outskirts of the city of Yavneh, approximately 10 km north of the port city of Ashdod, and "the furthest a missile has reached from Gaza."

Yavneh, which is more than 40 kilometers from Gaza, is only 20 kilometers south of Tel Aviv.

Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a second missile of the same type was also used in the attack on Ashdod, home to the nation's second-largest port.

"The rockets were advanced Grad-type missiles," Rosenfeld said, "the longest-range rockets that have been fired to date as far as we are concerned." Until this point, Hamas terrorists have launched medium-range Grad-type Katyusha rockets at Israel, which have had the capability of reaching only as far as the port city of Ashkelon.

Western Negev under Siege

Rocket barrages continued Tuesday on the western Negev city of Sderot, located less than one kilometer from Gaza.

A house in the center of the city sustained a direct hit from a Kassam rocket during the late morning hours. One man suffered shrapnel wounds in the face during the attacks, and three other people were treated for severe emotional trauma.

Sderot residents again raced for cover about two hours later as two short-range Kassam rockets exploded in open areas around the city. A third rocket landed near a kibbutz in the Sha'ar HaNegev region, and a fourth slammed into an open area next to a kibbutz in the Sdot Negev region as well. Kassams also fell near Ofakim and a community in the Eshkol region.

Gaza terrorists also managed to shoot themselves as well; a rocket launched by Hamas operatives fell short and exploded inside the terrorist-controlled region. No Israeli citizens were injured in the attacks, and no damage was reported.