IAF targets 8 access routes in Gaza

Marks first time hitting areas outside 'no-go' zone since it was established.

IAF copter cool 298.88 (photo credit: IDF [file])
IAF copter cool 298.88
(photo credit: IDF [file])
The IAF targeted eight access routes in northern Gaza, before dawn on Wednesday, that the army said were used by terrorists to reach the Kassam rocket launching-sites. For the first time since the restricted zone in northern Gaza was established, access routes located outside the zone were also hit. On Tuesday, the heavy IDF artillery fire directed at the 'no-go' zone located in northern Gaza in the framework of Operation Blue Skies failed to deter Palestinian terrorists from firing Kassam rockets at the western Negev. All of the rockets exploded in open areas, and no casualties or damage were reported. The rocket attacks began just hours after three Islamic Jihad operatives were killed when an IAF helicopter fired a missile at their car in the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza on Monday night. One of the three was identified as top Islamic Jihad commander Said Abu Jidyan, who according to the army was involved in terrorist activities, including attempts to infiltrate suicide bombers and directing cells to fire rockets at Israel. IDF units identified a total of 13 Kassam rocket exits fired by Palestinians at the western Negev during the day, but failed to track down all the locations where the rockets fell. Residents in Sderot were woken up by the sound of the Red Dawn early warning system in the early morning hours, after several of the rockets fell near the town. At least five Kassams were fired from Beit Hanun and Beit Lahiya, areas located outside the restricted no-go zone in northern Gaza. One of the rockets fell south of Ashkelon. Troops searching the area verified the site where one rocket fell in the western Negev and three other sites where rocket remains were found, the army said. In the West Bank, security forces arrested 16 Palestinian fugitives affiliated with Fatah and Hamas. In Nablus, two of the five fugitives arrested were identified as potential suicide bombers. Shots were fired at security forces during the operation in the city. Other arrests took place in Kalkilya, Tzurif south west of Bethlehem, Anabta east of Tulkarm, Hebron and villages located south west of the city.