JERUSALEM, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli government on Sunday unanimously approved a recommendation by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to completely fortify all Israeli communities in a 4.5 to 7 km radius of the Gaza Strip.
Referring to the as yet un-budgeted 270 million shekel (over 69 million U.S. dollars) outlay for the project, previously, "... in the seam line (between the two areas, only) educational institutions were protected," Netanyahu said.
"Today we've decided to complete fortifications for every structure, every home, all housing. This will, of course, provide more security for the residents of the south," Netanyahu said in a statement sent to Xinhua.
There are more than ten thousand residents living in dozens of towns and kibbutz farming villages in the area.
Palestinian militants from an array of groups, including Hamas, which controls the coastal enclave, have fired over 10,000 rockets and mortars at cities and towns in an arc upwards of 40 km away, causing death and destruction.
Public structures in closer-in towns and farming villages are already fortified at government expense, including children's playgrounds, schools and community centers covered by thick reinforced concrete awnings and safe rooms with meter-thick walls.
Areas located seven kilometers from the coastal enclave and further away are covered by the Iron Dome anti-missile system, which has, in its first year, succeeded in downing more than 80 percent of the Grad and Kassam rockets.
Last week, Palestinians fired close to 80 rockets into areas close to Gaza, wounding five people, among them foreign workers.
At least two Grads hit Beersheba early Sunday morning, breaking a fragile Egyptian-brokered cease-fire achieved late last week. Two Kassam rockets also hit areas closer to Gaza, according to The Jerusalem Post.
People of the Negev desert's largest city of some 150,000 residents, about 40 km east of Gaza reported hearing the blasts as the rockets struck.
While there were no reports of injury or damage in the attack, an irate resident told Xinhua that she were fed up with the near- incessant bombardments.
The first rocket woke Barbara Carter, an American-born, retired schoolteacher, took shelter in a stairwell in her apartment building when the "Red alert" recording blared from citywide sirens.
"I don't get scared -- I just get angry," she said, vowing not to leave the city for more distant, and presumably safer areas. " Are you kidding? Those bastards are not going to chase me out," she told Xinhua. "I'm staying right here."
City officials immediately closed schools after the strike, although the city's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev remained open -- Sunday is the beginning of the Israeli work week.
In 2012, Palestinians fired over 610 rockets into Israel, with over 150 launched during October alone, the army told Xinhua, noting that it holds Hamas exclusively responsible for any violence emanating out of Gaza.
Hundreds of Israeli Air Force suppression counterstrikes, like one overnight Saturday, have had successes in hitting launching crews before and after they fire the projectiles. One Hamas man was killed in the strike, the army said.
The retaliatory strikes have also killed and hurt many Palestinian non-combatants, Gaza sources told Xinhua.