2 mortar shells fired at Eshkol Regional Council

Attack comes after IAF strike in Gaza Strip kills Islamic Jihad member; spokesman for Hamas medical service says 2 other people wounded.

August 24, 2011 06:42
2 minute read.
Smoke trails after rockets are fired in Gaza

Smoke trails from rockets being fired in Gaza 311 (R). (photo credit: Yannis Behrakis / Reuters)


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Two mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council on Wednesday morning. No injuries were reported, but light damage was caused.

The mortar fire comes after the IDF on Wednesday morning confirmed that a member of the terrorist group Islamic Jihad was killed in a car explosion in the Gaza Strip as a result of an IAF strike. The IDF said that specific targets were hit.

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Islamic Jihad identified the man as a local leader in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. A spokesman for a medical service run by Hamas said two other people were wounded after the car was targeted by IAF aircraft.

On Monday, a senior diplomatic official said that Israel did not enter a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, and it would continue to take action to thwart any terrorist action, be it the firing of rockets or attempts to infiltrate Israel coming from the Gaza Strip.

At the same time the official said if there were quiet from the other side, Israel would not initiate a major military action inside Gaza. This decision, he explained, was motivated by a number of factors, including the situation in Egypt, Syria and the Palestinian Authority, as well as the number of Iron Dome batteries Israel could deploy.

Government officials said throughout the day that Israel was concerned that a large scale military action at this time could severely damage ties with Egypt, which is currently in transition; could divert attention from the situation in Syria; and might not be wise until Israel has more Iron Dome batteries deployed in the South – it currently has two – to defend larger swaths of the population from the missiles that would inevitably rain down in the area in the event of a wider military action.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu convened a highlevel security and diplomatic consultation that extended to 3 a.m. on Monday, where the decision to act to thwart terrorist acts, but not initiate a major military action, was taken.

According to the senior official, while Israel was ready for a war, it did not want to be dragged into it at a time not of its own choosing. He said that wider considerations needed to be taken into account, including relations with Egypt and the US.

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