(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Israel Air Force struck an Islamic Jihad cell in southern Gaza on Tuesday, minutes after identifying it as being behind an attack on an IDF unit on the border.
According to military sources, the terrorists fired a mortar shell at soldiers who were carrying out routine security measures near the frontier.
Islamic Jihad said the Israeli strike killed three of its operatives.
The IDF confirmed the aircraft’s hit on the terrorist cell, and said that the aircraft had then returned safely to its base.
The army added that it would not tolerate any attack on military forces operating along the border.
Islamic Jihad has been behind a trickle of attacks in recent days that have tested the cease-fire in place between Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza and Israel.
Earlier this month, the IAF struck an Islamic Jihad rocket- launching cell about to fire rockets at southern Israel from northern Gaza.
The military said that strike targeted a terrorist cell that was in the final preparations stage before firing a rocket.
According to Palestinian sources, one person was killed and two others were wounded in the attack, which was carried out in the Beit Hanun area of northern Gaza. Palestinian media later identified the man killed as Masab Musa Aza’anin, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad member.
The strike came after a red alert siren was sounded in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council.
No rockets were recovered following the siren, and the Palestinian projectile that caused the siren to go off likely failed to cross over into Israel.
Both strikes were part of the IDF’s ongoing security policy of searching Gaza for imminent threats and acting to remove them when they are identified.