Kassam rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip 311 (R).
(photo credit: Nikola Solic / Reuters)
Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired eight additional rockets into Israeli territory on Tuesday evening, bringing the total number of rockets fired since midnight to 31. Meanwhile, Hamas claimed responsibility for at least 10 of the launches in the past 24 hours. The IDF said aircraft carried out a targeted strike against the launching squad responsible for one of the latest barrages Tuesday afternoon. At least one person was critically injured in that strike and at least four have been killed in the past 24 hours, according to Palestinian reports.
Including the latest rockets, which landed in open fields in the Eshkol Regional Council, Palestinian terrorists have fired 31 rockets into Israel since Monday. There were no injuries or damage reported in any of the attacks.
Earlier, Hamas claimed responsibility for at least some of the rocket fire, claiming that it was responding to the killing of Palestinians in recent days. The IAF killed at least four Palestinian terrorists in the last 24 hours, at least two of whom were members of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group. Some Palestinian reports said a total of six have been killed.
In a statement released by Hamas's armed wing, the Izzaddin al-Kassam Brigades, the group said that it fired three mortars aimed at an IDF base in Zikim. It later claimed responsibility for 10 launches.
The announcement marks a significant departure from the Islamist group's previous position. In recent rounds of violence along the Gaza border, Hamas has refrained from launching rockets and mortar shells itself while allowing other Palestinian terror groups to do so.
Early Tuesday morning, the IAF struck a terrorist cell that was in the process of planting an explosive device near the border of the central Gaza Strip, confirming a direct hit. Two Palestinians, both believed to be Islamic Jihad operatives, were killed.
On Monday, a terror cell operating from Sinai crossed into Israel, killing a construction worker near the border fence. A force from the Golani Brigade immediately arrived at the scene, killing two terrorists in the ensuing gunfight.
Hours after the attack, an IAF aircraft targeted a motorbike in Gaza, killing two Islamic Jihad men who were part of a terror cell responsible for recent shooting attacks along the border.
Yaakov Katz contributed to this story.