Mortar shell aftermath (file photo)
Mortar shell aftermath (file photo)

The IDF launched air strikes in Gaza Tuesday evening after a mortar shell hit a home with a child and her grandmother inside.

Arab terrorists fired Four Kassam rockets and five mortar shells toward the western Negev Tuesday. Shells struck a home in Netiv HaAsara, setting it on fire, as well as nearby hothouses. A woman and her grand-daughter fled to their reinforced room as the shell struck the house and blew up in the living room, where they had been sitting. Though the house was severely damaged, they escaped harm. Several bystanders were treated for shock. Five additional shells were fired earlier.

Three PA Arabs were wounded in the first air strike in Gaza’s Jabalya region. Local reports claim the injured were not involved in rocket-fire. The IDF said it is possible that the air force missile malfunctioned; the IDF assigned blame for the wounded on the terrorists who fire rockets from within civilian populated areas.

Later Tuesday, the IAF struck a Hamas-run police station in Khan Younis, adjacent to the former Jewish town of N’vei Dekalim. At least four Hamas terrorists were killed in the strike.

The IDF said the station was a Hamas center of operations where terrorists were dispatched to fire mortar shells at IDF and civilian targets.

Barak: Gaza Operation Drawing Close

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said a large-scale IDF counter-terror operation in Gaza is drawing nearer. "Every day that passes brings us closer to a wide-scale operation in Gaza," Barak said while visiting military positions in northern Israel. "We are not happy to do it, we're not rushing to do it, and we'll be happy if circumstances succeed in preventing it, but the time is approaching when we'll have to carry out a broad operation in Gaza."

Rock Attack in Gush Etzion

An Israeli vehicle was attacked by Arab rock-throwers Tuesday southwest of Bethlehem. The car's two Jewish passengers were lightly injured in the incident and their vehicle damaged.

Arrests in Judea and Samaria

IDF forces carried out arrests of 16 wanted terrorists in Judea and Samaria overnight Tuesday. The arrests took place in Ramallah, Kalkilya, Bethlehem, Hevron and villages south of Shechem.

Missile-Response Exercise in Jerusalem

The IDF Home Front Command, the Jerusalem fire department and Israel Police are holding a joint exercise beginning at 11 AM in the capital Wednesday.

The scenario being practiced for is one of multiple missile-strikes on the holy city. The one-hour drill is taking place in Wadi Joz, Beit HaKerem and the Government compound. Residents are warned not to be alarmed by the sound of explosions.