IAF Strikes Gaza Terrorists

The Israel Air Force hit rocket-launching terrorists in northern Gaza Friday morning after they launched a rocket attack on the western Negev.

Hana Levi Julian ,

Kassam damage in Sderot
Kassam damage in Sderot
Israel News Photo: (Archive photo)

Israel Air Force fighter pilots struck a terror cell of rocket launchers in northern Gaza Friday morning after they launched a barrage of rockets at the western Negev.

A Gaza radio station reported that two of the three terrorists who were wounded in the strike were members of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, according to the Associated Press.  A Gaza Health Ministry official said the strike was aimed at a Hamas police installation.

At least ten Kassam rockets were fired at Gaza Belt communities Friday morning, with seven exploding in and around the western Negev city of Sderot. Two rockets slammed into areas close to Ashkelon, further north and along the coast.

The Hamas terrorist organization which controls Gaza claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on one of the group's internet websites.

One of the homemade missiles hit a power pole next to a house in Sderot, damaging the building and traumatizing a high school student, who was treated for shock. A number of cars were damaged in the city, and property was damaged in a nearby community as well.

Magen David Adom (MDA) said that a 70-year-old woman with mild shrapnel wounds suffered a cardiac incident; she was evacuated to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon. Four others who suffered severe emotional shock were taken to Sderot's trauma center.  Two people were treated at the scene for trauma, but refused to go to the hospital.

On Thursday Israel sent a message to Hamas through Egyptian mediators warning that although the Jewish State was interested in maintaining the temporary truce, or tahadiyeh, it would nonetheless retaliate if attacked. "Israel will not be the first to breach the lull," said a senior diplomatic source in Jerusalem quoted by Haaretz, "but as long as Hamas and the other organizations undertake actions that violate the calm, we will not hesitate to act." Hamas has accused Israel of perpetrating provocations.

Numerous intelligence reports have indicated that Hamas is planning to carry out a mass-casualty attack as well as hoping to abduct another Iisraeli soldier, either through a tunnel similar to the one used in the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit almost two and a half years ago, or by a terrorist cell infiltrating into pre-1967 Israel.