Air Force helicopters and ground soldiers foiled a terrorist attack in the pre-dawn hours Sunday, killing one terrorist and seriously wounding another, 24 hours after Hamas threatened a "tough and crushing response” to Israeli retaliation to terrorism.
The latest incident involved another attempt by Hamas and allied terrorists to plant bombs on the security fence road where army vehicles patrol, barely 24 hours after a Friday night bombing of smuggling tunnels by F-16 planes at the border between Gaza and Egypt.
“Gaza terrorists use ostensibly innocent attempts to reach the security fence in order to plant bombs, kidnap soldiers and endanger the lives of citizens of Israel,” IDF spokesmen said.
The continuing escalation of violence, highlighted by the unprecedented use of an Iranian-produced laser-guided anti-tank missile, has brought the level of attacks and counter-attacks to a level not seen since the three-week Operation Cast Lead campaign that began two years ago this week.
Gaza-based terrorists attacked Israel with approximately 30 missiles and mortar shells this month. One rocket wounded a young girl at a kibbutz after it exploded several feet from a kindergarten.
Last week, the IDF attacked Hamas terrorist posts for the first time since Cast Lead, in an apparent warning to Hamas that the military will not hesitate to meet terror attacks with a strong retaliation.
Hamas claims it has been observing a “ceasefire” with Israel, which it accused Israel of breaking. "Any kind of Zionist attack on the Gaza Strip will be reciprocated and Israel is playing with fire through intensifying its invasion of Gaza Strip,” warned Abu Obadiah, spokesman for the military wing of Hamas, the Izz al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades.