Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Gaza rockets hit deep into Israel


The Hamas rocket hit an empty kindergarten

Long-range rockets fired by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have landed in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, some 46km (28 miles) away.

No injuries or damage were reported after the rockets hit an empty school and fields in the city's north.

Correspondents say it is the furthest the Palestinian militants in Gaza have managed to strike.

The attacks came as Israel renewed its air strikes on Gaza for a fifth day, amid growing pressure for a ceasefire.

Two rockets also hit the nearby city of Ashkelon on Wednesday, injuring one person slightly.

It is not known exactly what rockets Hamas and other groups in Gaza have
Israel says Hamas used the six-month truce to boost its arsenal through smuggling tunnels
Grad-style missiles have reached Ashkelon since 2006
Recent strikes in Ashdod could be Iranian-made Oghab, Fajr-3 or Ra'ad missiles

Four Israelis have been killed by rocket fire from Gaza since the Israeli offensive began on Saturday. Palestinian officials say about 374 Palestinians have died, including at least 62 civilians.

Following the attack on Beersheba, an Israeli police spokesman said 860,000 Israelis - more than a tenth of the population - were now in range of Hamas rockets.

The BBC's Mike Sergeant in Jerusalem says that will only increase Israeli public support for continued military action.

Hamas's military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, says it plans to fire at Israeli targets that are even further away as long as the attacks on Gaza continue.

The Israeli air strikes began less than a week after the expiry of a six-month-long ceasefire deal with Hamas, which controls Gaza.

Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but has kept tight control over access in and out of Gaza and its airspace.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific