Palestinians in northern Gaza fired a Qassam rocket towards Israel's western Negev region Wednesday morning, several hours after two IAF strikes in the Hamas-ruled territory left one terrorist dead and at least 10 others injured.
The "color red" alert system was activated in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, but the rocket did not explode, and there were no reports of injury or damage.
Palestinians sources in Gaza said the first IAF strike killed Abdulla Talbani, a member of Islamic Jihad's armed wing, the al-Quds Brigades. Two other people were wounded in the attack.
The second IAF strike, launched about two hours later, targeted a Global Jihad terror cell planning to execute a terror attack on the Israel-Egypt border. According to the Palestinians, the attack left eight people injured – two of them critically. However, the IDF said two Palestinians were killed.
The Maan news agency reported that a vehicle carrying the terror cell members was targeted by an Israeli aircraft as it was travelling in Gaza City.
The military said the terror cell included former Hamas operative Rami Daud Kufarneh, and Hazam Saadi al-Shuker, also a former Hamas operative.
Shortly after the attack a rocket was launched towards Israel, but it exploded on the Palestinian side of the security fence.
"The terrorists who had planned the border attack were well-known to Hamas. The Islamist group was aware of the plan to carry out an attack while taking advantage of the situation in the Sinai Peninsula," one of the sources said, adding, "Despite this, Hamas did not work to thwart the attack."
According to the source, Global Jihad and Salafist elements in Gaza and Sinai are continuing in their efforts to carry out terror attacks against Israeli targets. "Hamas can prevent these attacks, but it prefers not to confront them," said the IDF official.