The IDF expanded Tuesday its activity in the Gaza area to the Erez industrial zone in the northern Strip, in the framework of the "Summer Rains" operation. Engineering and Armored corps, as well as Givati units, have entered the region Tuesday noon and are conducting searches for tunnels and explosive devices.
Army sources noted that the tunnel threat still exists, not only for IDF forces, but for communities near the Strip as well. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz decided Tuesday that the IDF will step up its operations in northern Gaza, but the timing for a large-scale operation has not been determined yet.
Palestinian gunmen fired three Qassam rockets into Israel from the northern Gaza Strip Tuesday morning. A rocket landed near kibbutz Yad Mordechai and two other in open fields near kibbutz Nahal Oz. No one was injured and no damage was caused.
Meanwhile, the army continues to fire shells at Gaza from batteries positioned near the border, and the IAF occasionally carries out actions over the area.
Sderot residents: Qassam fire dropped
Sderot residents said that ever since the army entered Gaza, the number of Qassams fired at the town decreased drastically. The Sderot Municipality claimed that rocket fire dropped by 90 percent compared to the two weeks prior to the operation.
"It appears that the very presence of the IDF in the Gaza Strip dramatically influences the other side. Therefore, the town of Sderot obviously hopes and expects that the army continue to pressure all terror infrastructure in order to give a solution to the Qassam problem."
"Regardless of the operation, we pray for the wellbeing of the abducted soldier, Gilad Shalit," Municipality officials said.
Hanan Greenberg and Ronny Sofer contributed to the report