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Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip have occurred since 2001. Between 2001 and January 2009, over 8,600 rockets had been launched, leading to 28 deaths and several hundred injuries, as well as widespread psychological trauma and disruption of daily life. According to research done by the Social work department at the Sapir Academic college, Estimated 15,000 people from Sderot are suffering from PTSD and estimated 1000 are treated within the mental health community. The weapons, often generically referred to as Qassams, were initially crude and short-range, mainly affecting the Israeli city of Sderot and other communities bordering the Gaza Strip. However, in 2006 more sophisticated rockets began to be deployed, reaching the larger coastal city of Ashkelon, and by early 2009 major cities Ashdod and Beersheba had been hit by Katyusha, WS-1B and Grad rockets,and in 2011-2012 to the cities of Kiryat Gat and Gedera. As of 2009 at least five mortars and at least one rocket have been fired with warheads containing white phosphorus recovered from munitions that Israel fired on Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. In 2006 militants claimed that chemical weapons had been used, however the IDF stated they could not find evidence supporting the claim and no one had reported such a weapon landing in Israel. Attacks have been carried out by all Palestinian armed groups, and, prior to the 2008–2009 Gaza War, were consistently supported by most Palestinians, although the stated goals have been mixed. The attacks, widely condemned for targeting civilians, have been described as terrorism by United Nations, European Union and Israeli officials, and are defined as war crimes by human rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Defenses constructed specifically to deal with the weapons include fortifications for schools and bus stops as well as an alarm system named Red Color. Iron Dome, a system to intercept short-range rockets, was developed by Israel and first deployed in the spring of 2011 to protect Beersheba and Ashkelon, but officials and experts warned that it would not be completely effective. Shortly thereafter, it intercepted a Palestinian Grad rocket for the first time. The attacks were a stated cause of the Gaza blockade, the Gaza War (Dec 27, 2008 – Jan 21, 2009) and other Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip, including Operation Rainbow (May 2004), Operation Days of Penitence (2004), the 2006 Israel-Gaza conflict, Operation Autumn Clouds (2006), and Operation Hot Winter (2008). (via DBpedia)