The soldiers were operating near the security fence separating Israel from the Hamas-ruled enclave when mortar shells were fired in their direction. The soldiers set off smoke bombs, and an Israeli pilot fired a missile at the terrorists. The pilot identified a hit.
Palestinian sources said one person was killed and three others were wounded. Another aerial attack carried out a short while later killed an armed Palestinian who belonged to a terror cell that was operating in Beit Hanoun.
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The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said the army identified a terror cell that was preparing to fire another round. Israeli aircraft struck the terror cell and thwarted the mortar attack.
Gaza, Monday morning (Video: Reuters)
"The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers will continue to operate against any element that uses terror against the State of Israel," the Spokesperson's Unit said. "The terror group Hamas bears the responsibility."
The four Palestinians who were injured in the aerial strike were evacuated to a hospital in north Gaza. It was further reported that prior to the strike IDF forces and terrorists exchanged fire. The Palestinians said the gunfight took place after heavy IDF vehicles entered Palestinian territory.
Injured Palestinian evacuated in Gaza (Photo: AFP)
Earlier on Monday, five rockets were fired toward toward the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage in the rocket attack.
The "Color Red" alert system was activated in Sha'ar Hanegev and in the Ashkelon Beach Regional Council.
Following the rocket attack, Sha'ar Hanegev council chief Alon Shuster said, "Unfortunately we have been dealing with this threat for the past 12 years, and I estimate that it will continue."
A little over a week ago rockets were fired toward the Eshkol Regional Council, but caused no injuries or damage. A week ago the Israeli Air Force killed a Palestinian terrorist who was planning to fire a rocket from Gaza. The terrorist was riding a motorcycle when he was hit.
A day earlier, an Israeli aircraft killed Hisham Saidani, who headed the Gaza-based Salafist movement 'Tawhid wal Jihad.'' Saidani, 43, was the senior-most global jihad operative in the Hamas-ruled territory. He was one of two top global jihad operatives who were killed in Saturday's incursion.
The two were planning to mount a terrorist attack on Israel and were known to be involved in hostile activity in the past.