Apache helicopter
Apache helicopterIsrael news photo: IDF

The Air Force targeted a terrorist cell preparing to shoot Israeli soldiers early Monday and dropped leaflets warnings Arabs to stay away from the security fence. It was the sixth straight day that Israel has staged retaliatory or preventive strikes against Gaza-based terrorists.

Monday’s strikes were carried out in coordination with Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) personnel. Israel’s intelligence on terrorists' plans is considered to be a prime asset for Israeli soldiers.

The IDF said it continues to hold Hamas responsible for all terrorist attacks from Gaza, where the terrorist organization rules. Several other terror groups, often in coordination with Hamas and sometimes acting to upstage it, also possess rockets.

Hamas and other  terrorist organizations possess at least 10,000 rockets and missiles, most of them crude Kassam rockets but many of them also longer-range missiles that can strike metropolitan Tel Aviv, according to military estimates.

Although none of the recent rocket attacks have caused physical injuries, they have sent several people into emotional shock and serve as a psychological weapon against Jews in the Gaza Belt area. An early warning system of an incoming rocket gives people only 15-20 seconds to run to bomb shelter.

Hamas agreed to a ceasefire in January 2009, but almost 800 mortar shells and rockets have rocked the western Negev since then.