IAF Kills Gaza Terrorists, Terrorists Fire More Kassam Rockets

IAF pilots killed eight terrorists in a number of air strikes following multiple terror attacks on southern Israel over the holiday weekend.

Hana Levi Julian , | updated: 15:19

Terror attack in the western Negev
Terror attack in the western Negev
File photo

Israel Air Force (AIF) pilots successfully targeted and killed a terrorist cell late Sunday night in the southern Gaza border town of Rafiah after a holiday weekend which included multiple rocket attacks, mortar fire and other terror offensives in southern Israel.

Two armed Hamas terrorists were killed in the strike, according to IDF sources, bringing to eight the number of terrorists eliminated so far in IAF air strikes in response to Hamas terror attacks in southern Israel over the weekend. Hamas claimed the dead terrorists were civilians, adding that the apparent target was senior terrorist Raed el-Atar, who they said was not wounded in the strike.

The strike followed a spate of seven Kassam rocket attacks on the western Negev and dozens of mortar shells fired at the Jewish communities in the region over the weekend.

The IAF also struck Hamas targets elsewhere in Gaza throughout the weekend following the attempted large-scale attack on the Kerem Shalom Crossing scant hours before the start of the Passover holiday. Israel had kept the crossing open on a daily basis for shipments of humanitarian aid.

Saturday evening, the IAF fired missiles at a squad of Hamas gunmen near the northern Gaza neighborhood of Jebalya as they were on their way to carry out a missile attack on Israel. Four terrorists were killed.IAF pilots killed a fifth terrorist in a separate attack shortly afterwards. A sixth Hamas terrorist was killed in another IAF air strike early Sunday morning.

Military sources in the field told Arutz-7 that soldiers and officers are becoming increasingly frustrated with their inability to "hit back at the enemy" in response to mortar and rocket fire on Jewish communities in the western Negev.  "We are becoming sitting ducks," complained one IDF officer who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It's not right. We certainly have the military capability to deal with this."

The source added that the military leadership  was "not the issue."

Monday Morning Kassam Attack on Southern Israel
Monday morning began with an early rocket attack on Sderot residents. The exact location of the landing site was not released. No injuries were reported and there was no damage to property.

A second rocket exploded near the director of the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council, Alon Shuster, as he was taking a morning walk. He was uninjured.

Two other rockets slammed into open areas south of Ashkelon.

According to a study released over the weekend, 65 percent of Palestinian Authority Arabs living in Gaza support terrorist bombings and other attacks on Israeli citizens. The study was conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, and had a 3 percent margin of error.

IDF Denies Claims it Deliberately Targeted Reuters Cameraman
Following the fighting in Gaza on April 16, the IDF opened a field investigation into claims that soldiers deliberately targeted a Reuters photojournalist on field assignment in Gaza.

According to a statement by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, "The IDF is conducting a field investigation to look into the claims regarding the circumstances of the death of a Reuters cameraman. The IDF similarly investigates every claim regarding uninvolved hurt in fighting areas.

"In accordance with IDF policy, the field investigation will be reviewed by the Military Advocate General. The IDF wishes to emphasize the unlike terrorist organizations, not only does it not deliberately target uninvolved civilians; it also uses means to avoid such incidents. Reports claiming the opposite are false and misleading."