Helicopters patrolling Jerusalem
Helicopters patrolling Jerusalem Israel news photo: Flash 90

A qassam rocket attack by Gaza Arab terrorists on southern Israel prompted a “red alert” Tuesday evening, Channel 2 reported. The alarm was sounded after terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired an anti-aircraft missile at an Israeli aircraft. Officials said terrorists fired a Strela shoulder-fired missile at an IDF helicopter, however, missed the target.

In the last few weeks, more than 60 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israeli towns in the western Negev. In the early morning hours of the second day of Sukkot, 55 rockets were fired within only a few hours. IAF forces responded by hitting Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip. Over the weekend, two grad rockets were fired at Netivot.

Officials said Israeli intelligence has long held that Gaza-based, Hamas-backed terrorists possessed such weapons. However, this was the first time that they were actually fired.

Israeli intelligence believes that the weapons originated in Libya and were smuggled through tunnels along the Egyptian border.