Damage in Negev town following Qassam attack
Photo: Roee Idan

Israeli air strike kills Gaza terrorist, medics say

Hamas gunman killed, two other Palestinians wounded in Air Force attack on group of terrorists preparing to fire mortars from northern Strip toward Negev region; Qassam lands near factory in south Israel; no injuries

Medical officials in Gaza said Wednesday evening that an Israeli air strike killed a Hamas gunman and wounded four other Palestinians, this after dozens of rockets and mortars were fired towards the Jewish state throughout the day. 


An Israeli military spokesman said the air strike targeted a group of terrorists who were preparing to fire mortar shells towards Israel. The man killed in the attack was apparently a member of Hamas' armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.


Meanwhile, a Qassam rocket fired from northern Gaza at around 7:30 pm exploded near a factory located in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council's industrial zone. There were no reports of injuries or damage.


At around 9:30 pm two Qassam rockets that were fired from Gaza fell in open spaces in the Shaar HaNegev Regional Council


Earlier in the evening two more rockets were launched toward the Negev region. One rocket landed in an open area within the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council's limits at around 17:30, but resulted in no injuries or damage.


Another Qassam fired a short while later landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage in that attack either. 


At around 7 pm six mortar shells landed in open spaces in the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported.


Gunmen launched more than 60 rockets and mortars since Tuesday night, the largest barrage since before an Egyptian-brokered truce went into effect in and around the besieged Palestinian territory in June. The ceasefire expired five days ago.


More than 50 Israelis were treated for shock, and extensive damage was caused to a number of structures.


Hamas vowed to step up its attacks if the Israeli army responded with strikes against the impoverished territory.


"(Israel) should know that any decision to attack the Gaza Strip will open the gates of hell and we will make you regret your stupidity with tears of blood," the group's armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said in a statement.


"The increasing stupidity of Israel is forcing us to intensify the rocket fire, and put thousands more Zionists in the line of fire in order to protect the Palestinian people."


It was reported that the "Color Red" system, which warns of incoming projectiles, will be activated in the southern city of Ashdod Wednesday evening amid the incessant barrages emanating from the Hamas-controlled enclave.


"Today it is clear that it is only a matter of time before Ashdod is attacked," a city official said. "With the activation of the alert system, a siren will sound 45 seconds before the rockets land here."


Reuters and Ali Waked contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 12.24.08, 20:22
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