IAF attacks Gaza terror infrastructure in retaliation for rocket fire
After three mortar shells fired at Israel on Wednesday, Israeli fighter jets bomb Gaza targets; IDF spokesman says army 'will continue using all measures at its disposal above and under ground to thwart attempts to hurt Israeli citizens.'
"The IDF will continue using all measures at its disposal above and under ground to thwart attempts to hurt Israeli citizens. We are prepared and ready for a variety of scenarios, and we will act against any attempt to violate Israeli sovereignty," the IDF Spokesman's Office said.
Unlike previous statements, in which the IDF said it views Hamas as responsible for everything that happens in the strip, this time the press release made no mention of the Gaza rulers.
Also unusual was the fact the IDF did not elaborate on the nature of the target hit in the strike beyond noting that "a central terror infrastructure" was attacked.
It is unlikely the attack was a targeted killing of a terror operative or a senior commander in one of the Gaza factions, as there would be a more pronounced response from the Palestinians if that were the case.
Nevertheless, it's likely the target of the strike was not another weapons depot or arms factory to produce mortar shells, and it is possible the target was yet another terror tunnel.
So far, the Palestinians haven't been forthcoming about the target of the strike either.
Three mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip at the Eshkol Regional Council on Wednesday afternoon just hours apart, all of which landing in open, uninhabited areas. No injuries or damage were reported.
The first mortar fell close to the Gaza border fence at around 2pm inside Israeli territory. Approximately one-and-a-half hours later, the IDF identified yet another mortar landing in the same area.
At around 5:30pm, another launch was identified, with residents of the regional council reporting a loud explosion nearby shortly after.
In all three cases, the Code Red siren was not sounded.
The IDF Spokesman reported that no explosions were heard following the first two falls, and after finding no shrapnel in Israeli territory the army now suspects they fell within Gaza borders.
The latest mortar attacks mark a continuation of a steady bombardment that has haunted Israel’s southern residents in recent weeks, and which have each time prompted the IDF to launch retaliatory strikes on Hamas positions.
In a similar incident on Tuesday, a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip and exploded in open space near a community in the Eshkol Regional Council, catching nearby residents by surprise as no alarm was sounded to warn them ahead of time.
Israel Air Force aircrafts attacked a Hamas military compound in the southern Gaza Strip in retaliation.
On Friday, a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip at Israel during a ceremony for IDF soldier Oron Shaul hit a structure in the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council, while the Iron Dome system intercepted two other rockets.
Following an investigation, the IDF determined that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was likely behind the launches.