Palestinian gunmen launched a mortar shell at Israel
on Saturday night. The mortar landed in an open area within the Eshkol Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
An IDF force responded to the incident by firing two mortar shells towards the launching spot.
This was not the first firing incident in southern Israel over the weekend. On Friday night, a Qassam rocket landed
within the Eshkol Regional Council, several hours after the Israel Air Force attacked and killed
three Islamic Jihad
gunmen preparing to fire rockets at Israel. There were no reports of injuries or damage in this incident as well.
The Islamic Jihad vowed to "retaliate the killing of its operatives in the proper place and time," saying the IAF fire "was carried out under the cover of the Israeli and Palestinian leaders' meeting in the United Nations."
According to the Palestinian organization, "The enemy is using the renewed talks and political meetings to continue committing aggressive crimes against our people and the mujahedeen, its heroes. This crime is taking place as the diplomatic meetings are being resumed, and our people has already gotten used to paying their price with the blood of its pure sons."
Friday's IAF strike was the first since the conclusion of Operation Cast Lead
in January. The IDF Spokesman's Unit reported that the three gunmen were attacked after getting off a vehicle and taking out rocket launching equipment.
The operatives were identified as Kamal Dahduch, son for former Jihad commander in Gaza Khaled Dahduch; Mahmoud al-Bana, brother of one of the group's military wing commanders; and Muhammad Marshud.
Military sources noted that the cell was responsible for several rockets launched at Israel, including firing at Sderot during Rosh Hashana.