Palestinians attack troops with mortars

No casualties reported in Kissufim attack; terrorists fire rockets at Netivot, Sha'ar Hanegev region.

gaza tunnel air strike smoke 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
gaza tunnel air strike smoke 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Palestinian gunmen on Friday morning fired 10 mortar shells at IDF troops who were operating near the Kissufim crossing to the Gaza Strip. There were no casualties or damage reported. The shells were reportedly fired after IDF troops opened fire at a Palestinian gunman who approached the Gaza fence. Earlier Thursday, four Palestinians attempted to plant a bomb along the fence but managed to flee the scene after soldiers discovered them. A rocket was fired into southern Israel early Friday morning, landing in an open area near Netivot and causing no causalities or damage. On Thursday evening, three rockets landed in the western Negev, hours after IDF jets bombed targets in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for previous rocket and mortar attacks. One Kassam rocket hit in the Sha'ar Hangev region, followed by two Grad-type rockets in Netivot - the first time long-range rockets were fired at the city since the end of Operation Cast Lead. All of the projectiles struck open areas and failed to cause any casualties or damage. Hours earlier, the IAF carried out three strikes along the Philadelphi Corridor, destroying six arms smuggling tunnels. The IDF said "large secondary explosions" followed the strikes, "proving the presence of weapons and munitions." Palestinians said that there were no casualties in the strikes. Overnight Wednesday, Palestinians said the IDF carried out operations in the northern Gaza Strip. Exchanges of fire were reportedly heard in the area. The IDF said that the strikes were in response to continued rocket fire on the South. An IDF statement said that four rockets and mortar shells were fired at the western Negev on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, bringing the total number of rockets fired from Gaza since the end of Operation Cast Lead on January 18 to approximately 50. On Thursday morning, meanwhile, IDF troops spotted a terrorist attempting to plant a bomb near Kerem Shalom under the cover of darkness and heavy fog. The soldiers shot and lightly wounded the suspect after he ignored orders to halt. The terrorist was arrested several hundred meters inside the Gaza Strip and evacuated to Beersheba's Soroka University Medical Center. Despite continued terrorist fire from the Strip, 400,000 liters of fuel and approximately 130 trucks carrying humanitarian aid were scheduled to cross into Gaza later Thursday via the Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz crossings, the IDF said. Meanwhile in the West Bank, IDF troops backed by border policemen entered Jayous, east of Kalkilya, early Wednesday morning, following months of attacks by locals on the nearby security barrier. Some NIS 60,000 worth of damage was caused to the barrier in recent months, prompting the raid, which was carried out in cooperation with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the IDF Spokesman's Office said. Twenty people were arrested after taking part in violent disturbances during the incursion, the army said. Soldiers recovered two hunting guns, five used grenades and four gas-powered guns. staff contributed to this report.