An IDF soldier was killed in a rocket and mortar salvo that was fired on the Eshkol Regional Council this afternoon.
In a separate incident, a civilian was killed in the same region by a projectile fired from Gaza. Another civilian was seriously injured and 15 soldiers were lightly hurt in the attack.
The incidents raised the death toll on the Israeli side to five since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense.
The soldier, Corporal Yosef Partuk, 18, was promoted posthumously. The kibbutz where he was hit was barraged for several minutes. Only a day before a rocket exploded a short distance from the site where he was killed.
“We heard two blasts,” a resident of the kibbutz told Ynet. “It’s pretty scary… Anyone who wishes for a ceasefire can keep on wishing. We want (the operation) to go all the way. We have suffered enough.”
Partuk was among the forces deployed to the Gaza region in recent days to back up troops stationed there.
The tens of thousands of troops were who were deployed in the area were instructed to wear bulletproof vests and helmets and were trained to respond to rocket fire. Reserve soldiers stationed in the region told Ynet that the rocket that killed Partuk whizzed over their heads. The blast sounded far and wide.
Heavy rocket fire continued to target Israel on Tuesday evening. One projectile hit the top floor of a residential building in the central Israeli town of Rishon Lezion, lightly injuring two people. Beersheba and Ashdod continued to be targeted by rocket barrages, as were the Eshkol and Beer Sheva regional councils. Some of the projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome while others exploded in open areas. No injuries or damage were reported.