Israeli killed by mortar; IDF kills 5 Hamas men
Two mortar shells fired by Palestinians from northern Gaza Strip land in Kibbutz Kfar Aza Friday evening, killing one man, 48, and injuring three others. Hamas claims responsibility for attack. Several hours later, IDF strikes in Gaza, killing five Hamas operatives
Two mortars fired by Palestinian gunmen landed in the kibbutz, one fell close to the local community hall and the other landed on a house.
Three people were injured in the attack. A soldier was moderately injured by shrapnel and evacuated by helicopter to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon. Two other people sustained light injuries and several others suffered shock.
House hit by mortar in Kfar Aza (Photo: Amir Cohen)
Hamas' military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the mortar attack.
People in mosques across Gaza were heard cheering and calling "Allahu Akbar" following reports of the deadly attack.
Hours later, Israeli aircraft sent missiles slamming into two Hamas police stations in southern Gaza, killing five militants, Hamas and Gaza health officials said.
The Israeli military confirmed the airstrikes and said they were in retaliation for attacks on Israel, including
the deadly mortar fire on Kfar Aza. In a later strike Saturday morning, a cell of gunmen was hit near the border fence.
Israel files complaint with UN
Knesset Member Shai Hermseh (Kadima), a member of the kibbutz, said that the man killed was inside his house at the time of the attack. "This situation is unbearable, not fortifying our houses or taking any action, we live in a firing range," he stated.
The Israeli delegation to the United Nations filed a letter of complaint with the UN secretary-general over the deadly mortar attack at the western Negev.
Israel urged the UN to denounce any act of violence and terror, and warned that it would not sit idly by while its citizens were under a terror attack
Three Qassam rockets and several mortars have been fired at the area since the morning hours.
Two Qassam rockets were fired from Gaza Thursday: One landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council and the other in an open area in the western Negev. A third rocket landed within Gaza. No injuries or damage were reported.
The IAF struck in northern Gaza on Thursday: Palestinian sources reported that four Islamic Jihad operatives were injured in the incident, two of them severely. Earlier, the IDF announced it had attacked a Qassam cell identified in northern Gaza. The soldiers reportedly confirmed a hit.
Ze'ev Trachtman, Yonat Atlas, Ali Waked, Yitzhak Benhorin and AP contributed to the report