Palestinian sources reported that IAF aircraft hit the motorcycle two terrorists were riding on east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Shortly afterwards, another terrorist was also killed in a seperate strike.
The strikes raised the death toll in two days of violence to 15, while some 100 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel injured at least four people. Over 30 rockets fired at Beersheba, Ashdod and Ashkelon were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. Other rockets exploded in open fields in southern Israel.
- Over 90 rockets hit Israel since Friday
- South under fire; IDF kills 12 terrorists
- 2 killed in Gaza strike, including terror chief
Meanwhile, Egypt's foreign minister condemned Israel's air strikes on Gaza and called for an immediate end to the attacks, the state news agency MENA reported.
"Egypt is highly distraught by the Israeli attacks," MENA quoted Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr as saying on Saturday. "Egypt is currently exerting efforts and making crucial calls for an immediate end to this Israeli escalation to end bloodshed of our brothers."
Minister of Home Front Defense Matan Vilnai stressed on Saturday that "the IDF is not planning on launching another military campaign in Gaza.
Top IDF officials hold situation assessment (Photo: IDF)
"This round of fighting began due to the targeted killing of a PRC operative who was in the midst of planning another attack. It was clear to the security establishment that this would lead to an escalation, but targeting him was necessary," he noted.
After weeks of relative calm, violence along the Israeli-Gaza frontier escalated on Friday when Israel blew up a car in Gaza City, killing two terrorist leaders. Israel said one of the terrorists killed on Friday had been involved in plotting a cross-border attack from Egypt.
Also on Saturday, Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas' armed wing, said Israel would "pay for its actions" sooner or later.
"The resistance will respond to Israel's crimes with the rest of the factions," he said. Obeida denied reports of a possible truce between Israel and Hamas.
Over 90 rockets fired at Israel
Over the weekend Palestinians from northern Gaza fired rockets at Beersheba, Ashdod and Gan Yavne early Saturday morning as the Color Red alert was sounded across Israel's southern cities.
Iron Dome System in the south (Photo: Yoav Zitun)
Iron Dome in action (Photo: Avi Manor)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke over the phone with Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin following the escalation in the south. Netanyahu expressed support and interest in the well-being of Ashkelon residents suffering from the ongoing rocket attacks on the city.
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz held a special situation assessment on Saturday given the recent rocket attacks in the south. Officials decided that the IDF will respond with determination to any attack on Israel.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke with the heads of the southern regional councils, who updated him on the situation in their area. Barak told them that "the IDF will strike anyone who plans to hurt Israeli citizens, and will also continue to improve the capabilities of the Iron Dome missile defense system."
The officials also praised the Iron Dome system which successfully managed to intercept rockets fired at southern communities.
Ilana Curiel, Neri Brenner, Yoav Zitun, Roee Kais, Elior Levy, Reuters, AFP and AP contributed to this report
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop