Seven Kassams fired at western Negev

Comes after IDF kills 3 Islamic Jihad members, arrests 16 fugitives in W. Bank.

kassam crew 88 (photo credit: )
kassam crew 88
(photo credit: )
Early Tuesday, Palestinians fired seven Kassam rockets at the western Negev in response to the Monday night attack by the IAF in which three Palestinians affiliated with the Islamic Jihad were killed. The three were traveling in a car when a missile fired from an IAF helicopter hit the vehicle in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza. The IDF identified that rockets were being fired, but have yet to track down the precise locations in which they landed. The army said that five rockets were fired before dawn from the Beit Hanoun area in the northern Gaza Strip. Two more Kassams were fired several hours later from west of Beit Lahiya, also in northern Gaza. Southern Command officials estimated that all rockets fell in open areas, and so far no reports of anyone wounded or any damage caused as a result have been received. In response to attacks, IDF artillery units shelled the no-go zone in northern Gaza, where the former settlements Nisanit, Dugit, and Elei Sinai were located. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, security forces arrested overnight 16 Palestinian fugitives affiliated with the Fatah-Tanzim and Hamas. In Nablus, five fugitives were arrested; two of them had intended to carry out suicide bomb attacks. Initial Palestinian media reports on the IAF attack claimed at least two passengers in the car were killed. Israeli security officials identified one of the dead as Said Abu Jidian, a senior Islamic Jihad commander. Further media reports identified the second Palestinian killed in the attack as Akram Gadas. The reports stated that shortly after 9:30 p.m. a missile fired from an air force helicopter slammed into the car causing it to explode. The army confirmed the attack, and said it was directed at Islamic Jihad terrorists involved in Kassam rocket attacks at Israel. Monday night's targeted strike occurred just two days after the air force fired a missile at a three member Palestinian terror cell preparing to fire a Kassam rocket at Israel from the restricted "no-go zone" located in the former Elei Sinai settlement in northern Gaza. Two Palestinians were killed in the attack and a third was wounded. Earlier in the day, security sources revealed that a Palestinian captured with a bomb belt sneaking out of the Gaza Strip last month told interrogators his target was the nuclear reactor in Dimona. The man, Ramiz Abdel Rahman Jabber Salah of the Jebaliya refugee camp, was a member of the Al Aksa Martyr's Brigade and had been recruited with others who were to stage simultaneous bombings in various sites, such as the Ashdod central bus station. Salah himself was captured on December 19 near the security fence surrounding the Gaza Strip next to Kibbutz Nirim.