TEL AVIV - The IDF has released a video documenting Hamas members caught in the act of firing mortar shells at Israeli settlements, moments before a missile fired by the Air Force hit the terror cell.
The video features several small explosions, marking the mortar shells fired by the terrorists, followed by a large blast, marking the impact of the missile fired at the terror cell.
According to Palestinian sources, the aircraft used by the IDF to fire the missile was a pilotless drone, but the Air Force has not confirmed the reports.
One of the Hamas terrorists involved in the incident, Ahmed Shauan, sustained critical injuries and later died of his wounds.
Meanwhile, the mortar barrage directed at Gaza Strip targets continued unabated. Thursday evening, two more mortar shells were fired at an IDF base in the northern Gaza Strip, while earlier two mortar shells were fired at the Karni crossing, also in northern Gaza.
No injuries or damages were reported in the attacks.
IDF uncovers explosive device in Gaza
Thursday afternoon, IDF forces spotted two unarmed Palestinians who attempted to cross a security fence near an Israeli community in Gaza. The two were taken in for interrogation.
Also in the afternoon, troops uncovered a 40-kilogram (88 pounds) explosive device near a security fence surrounding the Gush Katif communities in the southern Gaza Strip.
Border Guard sappers subsequently defused the explosive charge.
Earlier Thursday, Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra warned that the IDF would respond to the growing violence should the mortar attacks persist.
“First and foremost, such attacks harm the Palestinians and if Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) doesn’t come to his senses, eventually they will harm him too,” Ezra said.
Thursday morning, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz met with army officers at his office to discuss the growing violence in Gaza.
“The (Palestinian) Authority’s leadership is not using its full weight and is not undertaking the required acts to establish its hold on the area,” he said. “As of today, some of the new security chiefs have not been active for a long time.”
Mofaz says he views the latest development with severity and stressed the government would not accept Israeli citizens being harmed.
“We’ll know to exact the price from them,” he said, referring to Palestinian terror groups.
Video: IDF Spokesperson's Office