IAF Counterstrike (Gaza)
IAF Counterstrike (Gaza)Arutz Sheva: Flash 90

The IAF launched an air strike on a terror cell in northern Gaza early Friday morning as it prepared to launch rockets at Israeli targets.

The IDF spokesperson's officer reported a direct hit.

According to the IDF the terror cell was the same one that has been launching missiles at Gaza-area communities over the past week.

The information office for the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades confirmed the IDF had launched an airstrike on northern Gaza, saying it killed Muaman Abu Daf of the Army of Islam.

The Army of Islam is a loose affiliation of Al Qaeda affiliated terror cells whose numbers are dominated by radical Salafi volunteers from neighboring Egypt.

Hamas said five other Gaza residents were wounded in the attack. 

On Thursday the IAF carried out air raids in central and northern Gaza targeting a "terror activity site" and "terror tunnels."

The Palestinian Authority affiliated Maan News Agency later reported the target in central Gaza was a training site for the Islamic Jihad terror group's al-Quds Brigades.

The raid on the Islamic Jihad site comes afar Tuesday’s dual targeted killings of Islamic Jihad terrorists Rami Daoud Kafarneh and Hazam Muhammad Saadi Alshaker.

Both men had carried out rocket and mortar attacks in the preceding days and were reported by Israel's security services to be planning attacks along Israel's border with Egypt in the Sinai.

Earlier this week IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz told reporters Israel could "not escape" a major ground incursion in Gaza aimed at rooting out the terror infrastructure in the coastal enclave.

Gantz's comments effectively confirmed that Israel's airstrikes-for-rockets strategy vis-a-vis Gaza has proved ineffective in providing security for the over 1 million Israeli citizens who live under the routine threat of rockets and mortars fired by terrorists at their communities.

Gantz said any such operation would be “quick and painful,” for Hamas and its terror confederates in Gaza.

Critics of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza during December 2008 and January 2009 say that then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert caved to international pressure and terminated the operation before the IDF reached its strategic goals.

Any future operation, they say, should focus on being “thorough and complete” rather than “quick and painful.”