TEL AVIV - Palestinian terrorists fired two mortar bombs at a settlement in the Gaza Strip Sunday, wounding several Israelis, as violence continues to flare amid a shaky cease-fire.
Israel said it would reassess the security situation in 24 hours to give the Palestinian government time to combat gunmen before it launched an offensive into the area.
Later Sunday, six mortar shells landed in the Gaza Strip area. Three of them landed near the northern Gaza Strip security fence, two others landed in a northern Gaza settlement, and one landed in an Israeli community north of the Erez crossing.
No injuries or damage were reported in the attacks
Meanwhile, the Air Force fired a missile at a vehicle traveling in the Gaza Strip Sunday afternoon. The car was carrying members of the Popular Resistance Committees terror group.
The army was apparently targeting a senior terror figure behind recent mortar attacks in the Gaza Strip, but the man managed to survive the attack. Another person sustained injuries in the strike.
'I saw a pool of blood'
Army officials later said that targeted killings of Palestinian terror suspects, which were recently resumed following a long hiatus, will continue.
Gaza terrorists bombarded Israelis in and around Gaza for the past few weeks with rockets and mortar bombs and have threatened to stop honoring a truce Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas declared in February, saying the attacks were in response to Israeli killings of their comrades.
Two mortar bomb attacks landed in the driveway of one of the houses in the Gaza settlement of Neve Dekalim, injuring several settlers, including two in moderate condition. Damage was caused to two structures and a car.
Shrapnel damage from the mortar shell attack (Photo: Amichai Gross)
"I went outside the house and I saw a pool of blood in the driveway," said a 19-year-old resident of Neve Dekalim who refused to be identified.
Residents: Israel must do more
Yitzhak Golan, who's car was badly damaged in the mortar attack, told Ynet it was the third time his car had been damaged.
"I'm sorry to hear that two people have been injured," he said. "I'm angry with the army, because it does not respond as it should and abandons us."
Golan's son, Yehuda, whose life was saved as he left his car seconds before the mortar shells landed, told Ynet he feels Israel does not do enough to protect its citizens.
"Even though miracles occur here, it does not mean the state does not need to protect us and return fire to those shoot at us," he said.
Palestinians later fired another mortar shell at the same settlement, lightly injuring three children and causing damage to vehicles.
Shin Bet security services chief Yuval Diskin told the cabinet Israel should give the Palestinian Authority 24 hours to stop terrorists. Sharon said Israel would reassess the security situation after that time.
Violence flares during weekend
Troops also shot dead two terrorists in Gaza on Sunday, including a Hamas gunmen who carried out mortar bomb attacks and a terrorist who approached a restricted area near an army post. Gaza gunmen also fired four rockets into Israel on Sunday, causing no casualties.
Israel killed seven Hamas terrorists in air strikes over the weekend, resuming an internationally condemned policy of assassinations after a rocket attack killed a Jewish settler and an Islamic Jihad suicide bombing claimed the lives of five Israelis in the city of Netanya.
Sharon has said he will not allow Israel’s planned pullout from all 21 settlements in Gaza and four of 120 in the West Bank commence under fire and has vowed to strike back at Palestinian terrorists, who want to claim the withdrawal as a victory.
Israel massed dozens of forces on the outskirts of the Gaza Strip late on Friday and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told the cabinet that the army would launch a major ground offensive in the area, and could even act in the West Bank, within the next few days if the Palestinian Authority does not act to quell the violence.