IAF strikes Islamic Jihad cell preparing rocket attack

One member of terror organization reportedly killed in attack in Southern Gaza; group threatens to respond to strike.

IAF F15 fighter jet 311 (R) (photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)
IAF F15 fighter jet 311 (R)
(photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)
The Israel Air Force (IAF) struck a terrorist cell that was making final preparations for firing a rocket into Israel, an IDF spokeswoman said on Saturday night. Several hours later, anther cell fired a rocket that exploded south of Ashkelon. No injuries were reported in that rocket strike.
The terror cell struck earlier was hit by a missile fired by an aircraft. The strike occurred in Ak-Karara, east of Khan Younis, in southern Gaza.
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Channel 10 said one Islamic Jihad member was killed and two were injured. Palestinian sources in Gaza said three were wounded in the attack in which they reported that three missiles were fired into an agricultural area.
The terror organization threatened to respond to the strike.
The IDF attack came a day after a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel, landing in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council area. No damage or injuries were reported in the attack.
On Thursday, Palestinian terrorists opened fire on IDF engineers carrying out work on the security fence on the Gaza border, prompting a prolonged exchange of fire in which two Palestinian gunmen were killed. No IDF soldiers were wounded.
The attack occurred near Kibbutz Zikim in the western Negev, which borders the northern section of the Gaza Strip. Palestinian gunmen opened fire on army engineers using machine guns and mortars.
Soldiers who were securing the site returned fire, and directed tank fire at the terrorists as well. Local commanders called for aerial support. An air force helicopter was dispatched to the scene and also opened fire on the terrorist cell.
Palestinian medical sources later said two gunmen were killed.
The attack ended a short period of calm that came after an upsurge in rocket attacks from Gaza on southern Israel earlier this week.
Some 40 rockets were fired at Israel during the escalation, killing a civilian in Ashkelon and damaging residential neighborhoods in a number of southern cities.