Terror returned to the Gaza Belt area Monday night as two Kassam rockets were fired at the western Negev, and Israeli soldiers killed at least one terrorist when a cell tried to plant bombs at the Gaza security fence. One soldier was lightly wounded.
The rockets exploded in fields next to a kibbutz, and no damage or injuries were reported.
The Islamic Jihad terror organization said the dead terrorist belonged to its organization. The IDF later identified him as Bassem Dragma, a senior Islamic Jihad operative who took part in a clash in late March near Kibbutz Kissufim on the Gaza border, during which Major Eliraz Peretz and Staff Sergeant Ilan Sviatkovsky were killed.
A gunfight broke out when the IDF spotted the terrorist cell, and the wounded soldier is being treated at Soroka Medical Center in nearby Be’er Sheva.
Previous rocket attacks have been followed by an almost immediate Israeli retaliation, usually the bombing of rocket manufacturing and warehouses as well as smuggling tunnels.
Terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza have escalated activity the past two weeks as pressure grows on the Palestinian Authority, headed by the rival Fatah faction, to agree to direct talks with Israel on the creation of a new Arab country within Israel’s borders.