The Israel Air Force struck two targets in the Gaza Strip overnight
Wednesday, in response to Palestinian terrorists' violation of an
informal cease-fire agreement with Israel.
hours-long calm came after four days of violence in the South, with over
200 rockets fired from Gaza and 26 Palestinians killed in IAF strikes,
22 of which were terrorists. The hostilities which began on Friday when
the IDF killed two Islamic Jihad terrorists that Israel charged were
plotting a cross-border terror attack from Sinai.
strikes, which registered direct hits, came in response to a Grad rocket
fired into the southern town of Netivot. One man, approximately 40
years of age, was lightly injured in the attack and 11 other local
residents suffered from shock.
On Tuesday evening, two rockets
landed in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council area, marking the first
such attacks since midday. No injuries or damage were reported in the
Speaking via video feed from an Iron Dome battery protecting Ashdod to a
New York fundraiser, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz said that
rocket attacks such as the one in Netivot would be met with Israeli air
strikes. "If the fire continues, we will respond as we did before. We
managed to kill 22 terrorists in recent days, and as of now the
terrorists have been decimated."
Gantz's comments followed similar statements made Tuesday by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who said that “quiet will bring quiet,” but warned Israel would strike anybody trying to attack it.
was scheduled to be back in session in the South on Wednesday after
rocket attacks from Gaza kept students at home for the past three days.
Home Front Command made the decision to send children back to school
after consulting with the heads of local authorities in Beersheba,
Ashdod and Ashkelon.
Schools had been cancelled in all towns and
cities located between 7 km to 40 km from the Gaza Strip. The decision
applied to the cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba, Netivot, Sderot,
Kiryat Malachi, Gadera, Rahat, Yavneh, Lakiyeh, and the Gan Yavneh
media reported on Tuesday afternoon that the IDF shot and injured three
Palestinians that approached the Gaza security fence during a funeral
procession for two terrorists that were killed in an IAF strike a day
earlier. The funeral was for Islamic Jihad members Bassam al-Ejla and
The IDF said that some fifty Palestinians came close to the security fence, and that they fired in order to distance them.
Egyptian security official told Reuters on Tuesday that both sides had
"agreed to end the current operations," with Israel giving an unusual
undertaking to "stop assassinations," and an overall agreement "to begin
a comprehensive and mutual calm."
is an understanding," Homeland Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i told Army
Radio Tuesday morning. "At the moment the direction is toward calm and
it appears, unless there are last minute developments, that this round
is now behind us."
Also Tuesday morning, an Islamic Jihad
spokesman said the group would respect the quiet as long as Israel
stopped assassinations of terrorist leaders, saying it would respond if
more assassinations take place.