Two rockets hit southern Israel; four injured

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GAZA STRIP: Two rockets on Monday hit the western Negev area in southern Israel leaving four people injured, the Haaretz newspaper reported.

The attacks were perpetrated using two Grad rockets that were fired from the Gaza Strip into the cities of Netivot and Ofakim. The rockets damaged one car and four individuals were treated for shock.

The first attack took place in Netivot, located approximately 9 miles (14.4 kilometers) east of Gaza. Minutes later, a second Grad rocket hit Ofakim, which is about 15 miles (24.14 kilometers) from Gaza.

The rocket strikes took place on late Monday. No groups have claimed responsibility for the attack. Last month, over 13 rockets struck the western Negev area.

In recent weeks, Jewish settlers and Palestinians have engaged in clashes along the West Bank. In January, two Palestinian teenagers have been shot dead by settlers in the disputed region.

On January 13, representatives of various Palestinian factions agreed to stop rocket attacks on Israeli territory near the Gaza Strip in order to avoid a possible new military intervention by Israel.

However, the representatives agreed to the ceasefire only if Israel also stops attacking targets along the Gaza Strip. In recent months, Hamas officials have urged Palestinians to restrain from launching attacks on their neighbors. The attacks have continued on both sides.

The Israeli region of Ashkelon and the southern area of Gaza Strip have been the scene of an ongoing series of rocket attacks between Israeli Defense Forces and Palestinian militants.

In the winter of 2008-2009, Israel launched a surprise air strike against the Gaza Strip which marked the beginning of a three-week military conflict between Israel and Hamas, killing nearly 1,500 people and leaving thousands more injured and displaced.

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said that over 200 Grad missiles, Qassam rockets and mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli in 2010.

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