IAF strikes Gaza following rocket fire at western Negev

Helicopter gunship attacks smuggling tunnel in central Strip; strike comes in response to Kassam, mortar fire at Eshkol regional council.

Apache helicopter 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Apache helicopter 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An Israel Air Force helicopter gunship attacked a smuggling tunnel in the central Gaza Strip overnight Tuesday.
The strike was in response to earlier rocket and mortar fire at the Eshkol regional council, according to the IDF Spokesperson said.
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The tunnel was used by terrorists to enter Israeli territory and carry out terror attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers,the IDF added. The
IDF said it will not tolerate attacks against its civilian population and it will continue to operate against those engaging in terror. The IDF views the Hamas terror group solely responsible for disrupting peace in the South.
Earlier Tuesday, a Kassam rocket launched from Gaza exploded in an open area in the Eshkol regional council.
No damage or injuries were reported in the attack.
Prior to the Kassam being launched, terrorists fired a mortar shell which exploded in an open area in the regional council. No damage or injuries were reported.
Last Thursday, a Kassam rocket struck an open field in the regional council.
The rocket was the first to fall in Israeli territory following two months of calm along the Gaza border.
The last rocket to hit Israel was on April 18, just before the Pessah holiday. No injuries were reported in that attack.
Prior to that attack, the Gaza border region saw the largest escalation since Operation Cast Lead in late 2008 to early 2009.
Ten days into April, the IDF and Gaza-based terrorist groups implemented an unofficial ceasefire following weeks of rocket and mortar fire followed by IDF artillery and air strikes in the Strip.