Five Qassam rockets and a mortar shell were fired on the western Negev Thursday in response to an Israeli air strike on a terror cell in the Gaza Strip that left three gunmen dead and another wounded.
The first rocket fell just before 9 am in an open area in the Sdot Negev Regional Council. About an hour later, two more rockets were fired from the Strip, landing in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. In both incidents there were no reports of injuries or damage.
Jihad's al-Quds Brigades claimed responsibility for the rocket fire. Later Thursday another rocket and mortar shell landed in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, also causing no injuries or damage. A fifth Qassam landed within the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council's limits at around 12:20 pm, but caused no harm.
The army said the terror cell was targeted shortly after it launched an anti-tank missile at soldiers patrolling the Kissufim crossing area. Palestinians said the gunmen were killed near the Elmarazi refugee camp in central Gaza.
An Israeli aerial assault launched Wednesday evening killed senior Islamic Jihad operative Khaled Khareb Khaled Sha'alan – who the army said was involved in the firing of rockets towards Israel, including the attacks against Ashkelon in recent days.
A second operative, Hamza al-Najah, was wounded in the attack.
The Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, threatened it would respond to the strike against its operatives in Beit Lahiya.
"The attack proves that the Zionist enemy is not interested in calm, and therefore it must wait for our response and more rockets. This crime will not be ignored," the group said in a statement.