Kibbutz Alumim, near central Gaza and Netivot
Kibbutz Alumim, near central Gaza and NetivotIsrael news photo: Flash 90

A Global Jihad terrorist is dead and another was wounded in an air strike on a squad of terror operatives who were preparing to carry out a terror attack near the Karni humanitarian aid crossing in northern Gaza Thursday morning, according to IDF sources. The Karni crossing houses the terminal through which a giant conveyor delivers tons of grain and animal feed to Gaza each week.

In a joint  IDF and Israel Security Agency (ISA) operation, Israel Air Force pilots struck the terror cell, which was led by Fares Ahmed Jaber, a Gaza City resident who was involved in firing rockets at Israeli communities in the northwestern Negev region in the past few months. Another terrorist, who was involved in an attempt to execute a terror attack was also targeted and injured.

More than 20 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel in the first month of 2010, according to the IDF Spokesman.

In a separate ground operation, IDF soldiers also became engaged in a firefight with a second terrorist cell Thursday morning. According to IDF sources, the soldiers returned fire after terrorists began shooting at the troops while they were patrolling the security fence near Kibbutz Alumim.

The kibbutz, today comprised of some 140 members, was established in 1966 by members from a Bnei Akiva Nahal group on land that belonged to the Religious Kibbutz Movement since the 1940s. The area had been previously farmed by Kibbutz Be'erot Yitzchak, but that community had been relocated following the 1948 War of Independence.

The operatives were apparently intending to carry out attacks against Israeli communities. The military division of Gaza's ruling Hamas terrorist organization, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, confirmed in a statement that one of its members had been killed in the exchange during a “special mission.” The statement did not include further details.

Gaza residents have been warned repeatedly in flyers dropped into the area, as well as in recordings in Arabic phoned to private homes in the region, that IDF soldiers would shoot anyone entering the buffer zone around the security barrier.

Two days ago, Israel Air Force pilots destroyed several unidentified targets in retaliation for continuing rocket and mortar attacks launched against Israel from Gaza. The French news agency APF reported that an eyewitnesses saw five missiles strike the former Gaza airport, a target that was also hit last week by the IAF in response to an attempted terrorist  attack by sea.

"The IDF will continue to operate firmly against anyone who uses terror against the State of Israel," the IDF Spokesman said in a statement. "The Hamas terror organization is solely responsible for maintaining peace and quiet in the Gaza Strip."