(photo credit: Spokesperson police southern region)
Gazans fired three rockets at the Eshkol region early on Tuesday morning. The projectiles slammed into open fields and failed to cause injury or damage.
Hours earlier, terrorists detonated a bomb on the border between southern Gaza and Israel. IDF sources said the explosive was planted on the Gazan side of the fence, and was an attempt to kill soldiers.
The attack did not cause injuries.
“Palestinian terrorists are exploiting the area west of the border to attack soldiers and Israeli civilians,” an army spokeswoman said. “The IDF takes a grave view of this.”
Also on Tuesday, two rockets fired from Sinai at Eilat a day earlier were recovered by the military. A police spokesman said remains of a rocket were found in a desert area outside the Red Sea port. Residents of the city had heard both explosions.
An al-Qaida-inspired group in Egypt claimed responsibility on Tuesday for the attacks, saying it would continue to target the Jewish state while battling the interim military government in Cairo.
The Sinai-based terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (“Supporters of Jerusalem”) said it had carried out the rocket launchs on Eilat and was undeterred by Egyptian security sweeps.
“Jews must understand that our war with the enemy inside will not make us forget the prime enemy of the [Muslim] nation, who occupies the land and defiles the sacred places,” Ansar said in a statement.
“Jews will see things they do not like.”
Two Egyptian soldiers and three terrorists were killed in an Egyptian army raid on an Ansar hideout in Sinai last month.
Meanwhile, Israeli security sources reported seeing substantial Hamas attempts to cease rocket fire from Gaza and rein in smaller terrorist factions. Hamas deployed hundreds of men along the border fence with Israel in attempt to deter escalation and prevent rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel.
Addressing the situation in the South during a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, “We have a very clear policy. We thwart terror attacks when we see them forming, and we respond aggressively against anyone who harms us. This policy has resulted in a quiet year in 2013, the quietest in many years. If Hamas and the other terror organizations forgot this lesson, they will learn it mightly again in the near future.”
The IDF has been on high alert since a rocket barrage on Ashkelon on Thursday, which saw the Iron Dome air defense system intercept five projectiles over southern skies.