Rockets from Gaza 370(r).
(photo credit: Nikola Solic / Reuters)
Palestinian terrorists fired five mortar shells and two rockets at
southern Israel on Tuesday, after a reported Egyptian-brokered
cease-fire between terrorist factions in the Gaza Strip and Israel came
Five mortar shells were fired from Gaza into the
Eshkol Regional Council, some of which landed in a kibbutz. Two Kassam
rockets were fired earlier Tuesday: one into the Ashkelon Coast Regional
Council and another into the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries were reported
and no damage was caused in the attacks.
Also on Tuesday, Palestinian media reported that the IDF shot and injured three Palestinians that approached the Gaza security fence, during a funeral procession for two terrorists that were killed in an IAF strike a day earlier. The funeral was for Islamic Jihad members Bassam al-Ejla and Mohammed Daher.
The IDF said that some fifty Palestinians came close to the security fence, and that they fired in order to distance them.
An Egyptian security
official told Reuters on Tuesday that both sides had "agreed to end the
current operations," with Israel giving an unusual undertaking to "stop
assassinations," and an overall agreement "to begin a comprehensive and
The agreement was set to take effect at 1 a.m.
is an understanding," Homeland Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i told Army
Radio Tuesday morning. "At the moment the direction is toward calm and
it appears, unless there are last minute developments, that this round
is now behind us."
Also Tuesday morning, an Islamic Jihad
spokesman said the group would respect the quiet as long as Israel
stopped assassinations of terrorist leaders, saying it would respond if
more assassinations take place.
Islamic Jihad escalated its
rocket fire into Israel on Monday, striking as far north as Gedera as
Egyptian diplomats worked to broker a cease-fire between the Palestinian
terrorist group and Israel.
High-ranking IDF officers were
skeptical earlier in the day that the mediation efforts would succeed
and said that plans were in place to escalate Israel’s ongoing military
operations, including the possible launching of a ground offensive into
the Gaza Strip if the rocket fire continued.
“A lot depends on
Hamas and Islamic Jihad but we are prepared for all scenarios,” a top
officer in the Southern Command said Monday night.
Monday, nearly 50 rockets pounded Israel including several that landed
in Beersheba and Ashdod despite Iron Dome rocket-defense batteries
deployed nearby. The system succeeded in intercepting 11 rockets out of
18 throughout the day.
In total, over 200 rockets were been fired
into Israel since hostilities began on Friday, including 50 with ranges
of over 20 kilometers. Some of the rockets were manufactured
domestically in the Gaza Strip.
A senior IDF intelligence officer
said that Islamic Jihad was currently focused on “saving face” and
creating a “victory image” with which it will be able to claim that it
defeated the IDF.
In reality, the officer said, Islamic Jihad has
suffered heavy losses throughout the four days of fighting, including
over 20 dead operatives and extensive damage to its terrorist
The officer said that Iran was actively
encouraging Islamic Jihad to continue firing rockets into Israel.
According to the officer, Iran was concerned that if Islamic Jihad
stopped now, it would appear weak and bruised for failing to exact a
heavy price from Israel during the current round. As a result, the
terrorist group was under orders to continue attacking.
current round of violence began on Friday afternoon after Israel
assassinated the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) in
the Gaza Strip who the IDF said was plotting an attack against Israel
along the Egyptian border.
The IDF said that 25 Palestinians,
including three civilians, were killed in the fighting since Friday. One
of the dead was a 15-year-old youth. Gaza medical officials said that
another 74 have been wounded.Yaakov Katz and Ben Hartman contributed to this report.