Tensions rise following assassination: Three Qassam rockets fired by Islamic Jihad terrorists towards Israel landed in Palestinian areas, causing no injuries, Palestinian sources said Friday.
Later, the Air Force fired several missiles at Qassam rocket launching sites in the northern Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported in the attacks.
Meanwhile, Hamas, al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, and Islamic Jihad terrorists are threatening to exact their revenge following the killing of a senior Jihad member in Gaza Thursday evening. The terrorists called on their colleagues to respond “in the West Bank and also within the Green Line.”
Gaza mobs near car targeted by IDF (Photo: AFP)
Israel "opened the gates of hell" by killing a senior Islamic Jihad terrorist in Gaza, al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades commander Abu Udai said in response to the attack. All Palestinian terror groups are expected to respond to the killing, he said, adding the organizations "are no longer committed to the pathetic lull."
Seven people, including senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Shadi Mohanna, were killed Thursday when an IAF aircraft fired a missile at a vehicle in the Jabalya refugee camp in north Gaza.
Mohamed Kandil, another leading member of the Islamic Jihad in the Strip was also killed in the strike.
The Palestinians claim that five of the victims were civilians. According to Dr. Muawiya Hassnein, head of the emergency department at the Palestinian Health Ministry, another 14 Palestinians were wounded in the attack.
Representatives of the Palestinian organizations convened Thursday to discuss their response to the assassination. Meanwhile, IDF sources claimed that the high number of casualties in the blast was a result of explosives Mohanna carried in his car, which detonated following the missile strike.
Mohanna was a commander at the al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad military wing in Gaza. IDF sources reported that Mohanna was behind several deadly terror attacks on Israel, including the firing of Qassam rockets.
IDF cracks down on terror
The incident marks the IDF’s return to the targeted killing policy, a response to Wednesday’s suicide bombing attack in Hadera, which left five Israelis dead.
Security establishment officials said the targeted killing is part of the pressure the IDF plans to continue applying on Islamic Jihad.
“There will be similar operations in the future, in addition to action against Islamic Jihad infrastructure in the West Bank,” one official said.
“We must respond to Wednesday’s Hadera bombing, and we will continue to act against all those who wish to harm Israeli citizens.”
Later on Thursday the Air Force attacked open areas near Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, from which armed Palestinians launched Qassam rockets at Israeli towns.
In the wake f the Hadera attack Mofaz instructed the IDF to engage in a series of acts against Islamic Jihad, mainly in the West Bank, but in Gaza as well.
Vehicle following IAF strike (Photo: Reuters)
On Wednesday night IAF aircrafts fired at non-residential areas from which Qassam rockets have been launched at Israel . IAF aircrafts have also struck a traffic route near the town of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, In a bid to prevent terrorists' access to launching areas.
Also on Wednesday, IDF forces arrested 11 wanted terrorists in the West Bank.
Three Islamic Jihad activists and another suspected terrorists were apprehended in Qabatiya, south of Jenin; two Jihad members were arrested in Tul Karem; three Hamas members were detained in Hebron, and another two wanted terrorists were arrested near Hebron and Jenin.
Ali Waked and news wires contributed to the report