Palestinian attackers fired mortar shells at IDF soldiers on the border with southern Gaza on Thursday morning. In response, the IAF struck the cell that had fired into Israel.

The air force hit a small group of armed Palestinian men as they were preparing to fire again on IDF troops near the security fence, the IDF added.

There were no casualties on the Israeli side. Palestinian medical sources reported injuries among the armed Gazans.

Earlier Thursday, the IDF released a statement that “terrorist organizations in Gaza have made it a goal to harm Israeli civilians and IDF forces.

The IDF will continue to act with determination for as long as necessary against any actor who uses terrorism against the State of Israel.”

The army said Israel would hold Hamas responsible for any hostile activity emanating from the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian media later said Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the attack.

Israel’s “recent escalation” in the Gaza Strip aims to sabotage Palestinian reconciliation efforts, Islamic Jihad leader Ahmad Mudallal told Ma’an on Thursday.

Israel was “waging a war of attrition against Palestinian resistance groups, especially Islamic Jihad,” Mudallal told Ma’an.

He accused Israel of attempt to “break the spirit of resistance” in order to impose its will on the Palestinians.

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