IAF attack helicopter (archive)
IAF attack helicopter (archive)file photo

Israel Air Force helicopter pilots strafed a Hamas military command center in southern Gaza in the pre-dawn hours of Thursday morning, hitting a terrorist post in the city of Khan Younis. Terrorist sources said the facility was damaged, but there were no casualties. 

IAF pilots also reported no injuries in the strike, and all Israeli personnel returned safely to base.

The aerial strikes came in response to mortar shelling and rocket attacks on western Negev communities by Gaza terrorists a day earlier.

Three mortar shells exploded in the Eshkol region close to the security barrier at around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday. A single shell was also fired at a kibbutz in the same region at around 3:00 p.m. the same day. There were also reports of an earlier shelling of the Eshkol region Wednesday morning.

No one was physically injured and no damage was reported.

Gaza terrorists have attacked southern Israel more than 40 times since the Jewish State declared its unilateral ceasefire on January 18, following the end of Operation Cast Lead against the Hamas terrorist infrastructure.

Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel is Our Home), which came in third in Tuesday’s national election, has said the party will not join a government that does not want to bring down the Hamas government in Gaza.

Both Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni and Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu are vigorously courting Lieberman’s support in hopes of forming a coalition. The two major parties were separated only by a single mandate after 99 percent of the votes were counted. Votes from soldiers and foreign service personnel are expected to be counted by Thursday.

An official tally won’t be available until February 18, when all of the international ballots will have been counted and appeals and recounts will have been concluded.