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Israel's S. residents try to return to "the new normal," with rockets, or without

(Xinhua)

09:55, August 29, 2011

JERUSALEM, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a Grad rocket into Israel Sunday morning. The rocket fell in an open area near Beersheba but there were no injuries or damage from the attack, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman's office.

Al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, an al-Qaida-affiliated group took responsibility for the attack, according to the Ynet news site. The Iron Dome anti-missile system was unable to down the rocket in mid-fight, contrary to earlier media reports.

Militants also fired a mortar shell toward Israel, as well, according to reports, but the spokesman could not verify the accounts.

The attacks come in the wake of Friday's announcement by Islamic Jihad of a new cease-fire deal.

"The government has called on the Palestinian factions not to give an opportunity to the (Israeli) occupation government to escalate its aggression further," according to Hamas spokesman Taher Nunu.

Since then, four Grad and Kassam rockets were launched into Israel, including one on Saturday night.

However, the relative calm in recent days has allowed some Israeli communities alongside Gaza, such as Sderot, a town of 25, 000 residents which lies three kilometers from the coastal enclave, to breathe a bit easier and worry about more mundane issues, like school budgets.

"We'll continue normal life, within the external security situation as much as possible," Mayor David Buskila told Xinhua, adding that budget battles with the government for after-school programs for the town's 4,000 pupils left him no choice but to keep schools closed for the interim.

"For the past two-and-a-half years, the government of Israel has cut tens of millions of shekels from Sderot's budget," Buskila said, adding that "It makes it hard to give our children what they deserve after enduring a decade of terrorism and escalation (of the security situation)."

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