No physical injuries were reported but people were treated for shock following the attack. ‘Red Alert’ sirens sounded around the area, allowing residents fifteen seconds to get to a shelter.
In the evening, two rockets launched from Gaza towards Ashkelon were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system.
On Sunday, a further rocket from Gaza exploded in an open area near Ashkelon with no reported casualties. Iron Dome anti-missile batteries have been deployed next to the towns of Sderot, Netivot and Ashdod in preparation for any further rocket strikes.
The Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade (a Palestinian group linked with Islamic State) claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks.
Sderot municipality called for a strong Israeli response following rocket fire. A representative from the city council said that there is “a pattern of activity designed to harm [local] inhabitants, in particular at sensitive times such as the holidays… we have to exact a heavy price from Hamas and respond aggressively to the fire – and not just as a response”.
In a statement , UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon condemned the rocket attacks from Gaza, asserting that: “indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas risk a dangerous escalation and must stop. The people of southern Israel and Gaza have suffered enough from such violence”.
The IDF responded to these attacks by striking three Hamas terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip, including a communications system, with no reported injuries.