Dozens of mortars rained down on Israel Sunday night and a heavy
firefight broke out between Palestinian terrorists and IDF soldiers near
the Kerem Shalom Crossing.
Meanwhile, at least 13 Egyptian
policemen were killed and seven wounded in an armed attack on a police
station in North Sinai on the border between Egypt and Israel on Sunday,
medical and security sources said. Egyptian state television reported
that an Islamist militant group was behind the attack.
It was not clear if the fighting between the IDF and Gaza terrorists was related to the incident in Sinai. The attackers used a stolen police vehicle to launch the attack, security sources said, and fired live ammunition at police officers at the station.
The mortar fire on Israel began at around 8 p.m.,
likely in retaliation to an Israeli airstrike earlier in the day
against a global jihad terror cell which the IDF said was in the final
stages of launching an attack against Israel along the Egyptian
border. One terrorist was killed in the strike and another was seriously
The IDF ordered residents of communities in the Eshkol
Region to remain inside their homes. Palestinians reported that the IDF
was firing tank shells into southern Gaza, likely part of an effort to
suppress the mortar fire.
"I'm hearing the explosions all the
time, every few seconds there are mortars or Kassams...We don't know of
any injuries, thankfully," Eshkol Regional Council spokeswoman Ronit
Minaker told The Jerusalem Post.
The fresh round of violence came hours after the Israeli Air Force bombed a motorbike in the Gaza Strip on
Sunday, striking a global jihad terrorist who the Shin Bet (Israel
Security Agency) said had been plotting a terror attack along the
Egyptian border for weeks. Palestinian hospital officials said the
man, Ahmed Ismail, 22, was seriously injured, and his assistant, Eid Okel Hjazi, a 19-year-old from Rafah, was killed.
sources said the terrorist was Ahmed Said Ismail, 22, from the Gaza Strip.
They said he was part of the group that carried out the attack in June that killed an Israeli workman, and was in the midst of planning another attack against Israel along the border.
sources said it was possible the strike thwarted the terror attack. IDF
spokesman Brigadier Gen. Yoav Mordechai said they were in the "advanced
and final stages of launching an attack on the Eilat - Egyptian
Military sources added that global jihad elements were
taking advantage of regional instability, in particular in Egypt and
Syria, to create infrastructure that can be used to attack Israel.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement praising the IDF and the Shin Bet for the "precise operation" in Gaza.
"All those who intend to harm us should know our long arm will reach them," he said.
is increasingly concerned with the presence of global jihad operatives
in the Sinai Peninsula and their ties with Palestinian terrorists in the
Several terror cells are believed to consist of
Palestinians from the Gaza Strip as well as global jihad operatives from
various Arab countries throughout the Middle East.
the Counter-Terrorism Bureau urged Israeli tourists in Sinai to return
to Israel immediately because terrorists are planning to abduct Israelis
from the peninsula.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.