Air Force on Sunday jets struck two Gaza targets in response to the Qassam rocket fired at the Negev Saturday evening. The targets hit were an arms smuggling tunnel and a tunnel under the border fence used for carrying out terrorist activity inside Israel.
An IDF statement after the attack said, "The military will not tolerate any attempt to harm the citizens of the State of Israel or IDF soldiers and will continue to act determinedly and severely against any element using terror against the State of Israel. The IDF holds the Hamas terror organization as solely responsible for the occurrences in the Gaza Strip and for maintaining calm there."
Following the attack, a mortar shell was fired from the northern Gaza Strip and exploded near Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. There were no reports of damage or injury.
The Qassam rocket that was fired from the Gaza Strip on Saturday hit a public building located within Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, outside of Sderot. The roof of the structure, which had already been hit twice before by rockets, was damaged in the incident. No one was injured.
Saturday's rocket indicates an escalation on the southern front. The current round of violence along Israel's border with Gaza began Friday morning, when a Grad rocket fired from the Hamas-ruled territory landed near an apartment building in central Ashkelon. A few hours later two mortars landed within the limits of the Eshkol Regional Council. There were no reports of injury in either attack, but eight people suffered from shock in Ashkelon.
State officials postulated Friday that the Grad rocket fire was an attempt by terror groups in Gaza to strike up conflict in the region ahead of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
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