Dozens of rockets were fired on southern Israel by terrorists in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, injuring five people.
Three farm workers, believed to be from Thailand, were reported to have been hurt when one of more than 60 missiles struck the area in which they were working in the Eshkol region.
Israel’s Iron Dome defence system intercepted around seven rockets.
Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Israel may be forced to consider launching a ground operation in order to stop the attacks.
The barrage followed Israeli Air Force strikes which targeted rocket-launching groups in Gaza, killing three Hamas members. Israeli media reported that the IDF had also launched tank strikes in southern Gaza on Wednesday morning.
Israel’s Channel Two station said parents near Ashkelon and along the coast were shielding their children to protect them from the bombardment. Schools were closed in an effort to protect youngsters and other civilians.
Around one million people living within 10km of Gaza have been advised to stay in safe rooms and bomb shelters.
It is believed Israel may complain to the United Nations Security Council about the rocket attacks later on Wednesday.