Palestinian gunmen fired two Qassam rockets into Israel on Tuesday evening; just hours after the IAF struck a series of smuggling tunnels in Rafah as a response to the ongoing rocket fire emanating from Gaza.
The rockets landed south of Ashkelon and near a kibbutz belonging to the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council. No injuries were reported and no damage was caused.
The attacks came as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at his Jerusalem residence. Speaking at a conference on the rehabilitation of Gaza in Egypt on Monday, Clinton said: "There is no doubt that any nation including Israel cannot stand idly by while its territory and people are subjected to rocket attacks."
The IDF airstrike in the afternoon targeted six smuggling tunnels, and the army confirmed direct hits. Four Palestinians were reported wounded and several were trapped in the collapsed tunnels.
The IDF said secondary explosions were identified as the tunnels were attacked, adding that this proved explosives were being smuggled through them.
On Sunday seven Qassam rockets were fired into southern Israel. Another rocket was fired on Monday. On Saturday an advanced Qassam lightly wounded three people in Ashkelon.
A senior military source said that Israel's lack of response to the incessant attacks would have a detrimental effect on its deterrence, and not only against Gaza's terror groups.
"This is the not the situation we would like to have seen a month and a half after the operation," he said.