Qassam rocket
Qassam rocketIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Palestinian Authority terrorists launched a failed rocket attack on southern Israel Wednesday morning following a retaliatory IAF air strike on the region.

Although the short-range Qassam rocket was aimed at Israel's Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council district -- a fact made clear by the activation of the Color Red air raid siren -- the missile landed in an open area and did not explode. No one was physically injured and no damage was caused. 

Earlier, there were reports that it might not have even made it over the border into Israel at all. However, the constant activation of the Color Red rocket alert system has been a traumatizing factor for many in Israel's southern communities, especially among the children whose parents are often forced to awaken them from sleep at odd hours to rush them to safety.

The Israeli Air Force meanwhile struck two terrorist targets in Gaza late Tuesday night in an operation carried out in cooperation with the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).

The strikes came in retaliation for the daily rocket and mortar attacks emanating from the region, aimed at southern Israeli civilian communities, the latest of which were fired Sunday and Monday, as well as several days last week, including over the Sabbath.

At least three terrorists were eliminated overnight. According to local sources, another 11 were injured. PA sources identified one of the dead terrorists as Abdullah Telbani, a member of the Global Jihad movement's Al-Quds group. In his early 20s, Telbani was killed while riding in a tuk-tuk, a motorized rickshaw-type of vehicle, according to local sources. Two others who were with him at the time were wounded in the strike.

IAF fighter pilots also targeted a terrorist cell planning to infiltrate into Israel to carry out an attack. Among the group was Rami Douad Jaber Kafarna, a 27-year-old member of Hamas. The Jabaliya resident had in the past participated in firing high-trajectory weapons at Israeli citizens across the border, according to the IDF.

Also among the second terrorist group targeted overnight was 26-year-old Islamic Jihad terrorist Hazam Mohammed Sa'adi al-Shakar, a resident of Beit Hanoun who had worked together with Hamas and been engaged in hiding munitions in Gaza.

A direct hit was confirmed, but it is not clear whether any of the members of the above terrorist cell were killed.

Following the operation, the IDF issued its standard statement vowing not to tolerate any attacks on southern Israeli communities or any Israeli citizens.

"The IDF will not tolerate attempts to harm Israeli citizens or IDF soldiers and will continue to operate strongly and decisively against anyone who uses terrorism against Israel," the statement read. "The IDF holds Hamas responsible" for all terrorist activities emanating from Gaza, the statement continued.