IDF soldier Gilad Shalit
IDF soldier Gilad Shalit Israel news photo: screenshot of Hamas video

The IAF strikes on the night between Monday and Tuesday preempted attempts by terrorists to insert terror squads into Israel in the vicinity of Sderot, Ashkelon, the Karni crossing and the Kerem Shalom crossing. The IDF terms this type of tunnel "attack tunnels."

The IAF attacked seven targets - the largest number of targets hit in one night in recent months.

One of the tunnels was supposed to allow terrorists into Israel near Netiv HaAsara, and another near Miflasim and Kfar 'Aza. These could have served for staging attacks against Israeli civilians. The two other tunnels could have served for attacks on IDF soldiers, like the one in which Gilad Shalit was abducted and two soldiers killed, near Kerem Shalom in 2006. Terrorists abducted Shalit through a tunnel into Gaza.

The IAF also attacked a smuggling tunnel near Rafiah, a site for manufacturing weapons near Khan Yunes, and a Hamas outpost west of Khan Yunes. Two terrorists were hurt in that attack.

All IDF planes returned safely to base and precise hits on target were reported.