The Palestinians were required to stay 300 meters (984 feet) away from the fence and were warned that "anyone approaching the fence beyond this distance is taking a risk."
This is the first time the Israel Defense Forces has distributed leaflets since May 2009. According to the army, the operation was planned a long time ago and had nothing to do with the mortar shell barrages fired at southern Israel earlier in the day.
The leaflets also warned the residents not to cooperate with smugglers in the underground on the Gaza-Egypt border, and particularly not with weapon smugglers.
The leaflets read, "The terror elements are a regular target for the Israel Defense Forces and they continue to operate nearby in order to take shelter among you. The digging of tunnels from inside and nearby your homes and the smuggling of weapons endanger your lives and property. Don’t sit idly in light of your abuse by those terroristic elements, because they will not stand by you when your property is damaged. Take responsibility for your future."
According to the Palestinians, the leaflets included an email address and telephone number for the residents to contact the IDF with information on smuggling and smugglers.
The mortar firing began at around 7:45 am Thursday. Three mortar shells landed near the Kerem Shalom crossing, and another on Palestinian territory. One shell hit the Eshkol Regional Council. A second barrage was fired shortly afterwards, with two shells landing in the Eshkol Regional Council.
Immediately after the firing, the residents of Kibbutz Kerem Shalom were asked to enter fortified area, where they stayed for about half an hour. One of the residents told Ynet, "I hope this is only a specific incident, but we are not so naïve to believe that there won't be another battle. In any event, this is routine."
Kibbutz secretary Zohar Ronen told Ynet, "We are always prepared. Not so long ago it was our daily routine, so we are unfazed by this morning."
Hanan Greenberg contributed to this report