IAF strikes Gaza after barrage of rockets slams South

Palestinians say one killed, several wounded during strike on rocket cell; 7 rockets fall in Eshkol Regional Council, Ofakim, Ashkelon; Home Front Command cancels "Breeza" Festival in Ashkelon.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 24, 2011 21:53
1 minute read.
F-16 fighter jet in flight

F-16 Fighter Jet 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

In what appeared to be part of an IDF response to renewed rocket fire into Southern Israel, the IAF on Wednesday evening bombed an Islamic Jihad rocket cell in Gaza City. Palestinians reported one dead and several wounded.

At least seven rockets landed near Ashkelon and in Ofakim on Wednesday evening. The rockets were believed to be fired by Islamic Jihad which was avenging an Israel Air Force air strike earlier in the day in which a senior operative was killed, who the IDF said was planning attacks against Israel from the Sinai Peninsula.

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Four rockets landed in the Eshkol Regional Council and another two struck open land near Ofakim shortly after another rocket fell in an open field north of the Gaza strip near Ashkelon. No one was injured in the strikes.

The IDF had prepared for the rocket fire following the air strike against the Islamic Jihad operative and canceled the "Breeza" Festival in Ashkelon that was scheduled for Wednesday night.

Defense officials said that the IDF would continue to strike at terror cells that it spotted preparing to fire rockets into Israel or against terrorists who it knew, according to intelligence information, were in the midst of planning attacks against Israel like it did on Wednesday morning.

"This could lead to another escalation in rocket fire but the IDF will not stand by as Israelis are attacked," one official said.

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