white phosphorous 311.
(photo credit: AP)
Defense officials predicted Saturday that the recent round of violence between
Israel and the Gaza Strip, set off by the targeted killing last week of a top
al- Qaida-affiliated terrorist and his brother, would die down and not escalate
into a larger conflict.
RELATED:Cabinet discusses readiness as Kassams hit South10th rocket hits South since High Holidays began
On Friday, the Israel Air Force bombed three
targets in Gaza hours after Palestinians fired phosphorus mortar shells into the
Western Negev. On Thursday night, for the first time since Operation Cast Lead
almost two years ago, a Grad-model Katyusha hit near Ofakim.
Palestinians were reportedly wounded in the bombings. Later Friday, the IAF also
bombed a tunnel which Israel said was used to smuggle weaponry and explosives
from Sinai to Rafah in Gaza. One of the earlier targets was a training base used
by the Islamic Jihad.
The round of violence came after Israel killed a
senior member of the Army of Islam, a group affiliated with
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman directed acting ambassador
to the United Nations Meron Reuben to file a complaint to UN Secretary- General
Ban Ki-moon Friday over a barrage of rockets and mortar shells fired into
southern Israel from the Gaza Strip that day that also included white
Lieberman said in a statement that the rocket and
mortar attacks were additional reminders to the international community that
Israel’s citizens in the South were living under perpetual fear of unbridled
terrorism coming from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
The IDF reported
that the four mortar shells that landed near Ashkelon contained white
phosphorous. The Salah a-Din Brigade claimed responsibility for the mortar
attack, which the group said came in response to the IDF’s targeted killing.