Palestinians fired eight Kassam rockets at the western Negev on Friday, all of which fell in open areas, causing no damage. In response, IDF artillery units intensively shelled northern Gaza sites identified as where the rockets originated.
The constant shelling of Palestinian areas continued until after nightfall. There were no reports of casualties.
On Friday evening, an Israeli civilian reported that a Kassam rocket exploded south of Ashkalon, however security forces sent to the site where unable to confirm the report.
Earlier in Gaza, a rocket exploded north of the Karni Crossing, and another rocket south of the Kissufim Crossing. Shortly after, a rocket exploded near the Sufa Crossing. Another Kassam rocket fell in the area of Moshav Netiv Ha'asara and Kibbutz Karmiya. And before dawn, two Kassams fired south of the former settlement of Dugit landed south of Ashkelon. The Islamic Jihad and Aksa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for the attacks, which they said was in response to the deaths of two Islamic Jihad fugitives killed by security forces in Jenin on Thursday.
Last week, while briefing military reporters, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz said that while Israel had the capability to deal with the Kassam rocket threat, it would mean violating moral values and crossing boundaries.
Halutz, however, did not rule out the possibility of launching a ground offensive in Gaza to halt the rocket attacks if the situation escalated. He noted that if the army took a more aggressive approach to halt the rocket fire, such actions would cause collateral damage and the harming of innocent civilians.
Meanwhile, in the West Bank security forces continued to arrest Palestinian terrorist fugitives.
On Friday, troops operating in A-Dik southeast of Kalkilya, arrested Rami Rabat Mustafa Dieb, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who was in the midst of planning bomb attacks against IDF and settlers traveling on the roads in the vicinity of Elei Zahav in Samaria. During the operation, troops shot and wounded an Islamic Jihad fugitive after he was spotted fleeing from his home. The man suffered gunshot wounds to the legs and was taken by a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance to a local hospital.
Elsewhere in the West Bank, security forces arrested 11 Islamic Jihad fugitives in Nablus, Ilar north of Tulkarm, Jelazoun north of Ramallah, Abbadiya east of Bethlehem and Hirbat Abu Najim north of Bethlehem.
Before dawn Saturday four fugitives were arrested - three Hamas fugitives in Yata south of Hebron, and an Islamic Jihad fugitive in Jenin where shots were fired at troops. Explosive devices were thrown and shots fired at soldiers deployed in Kalil south of Nablus; no one was wounded and no damage reported.
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