IAF bombs Gaza targets after Kassam attack

Hamas Armed Palestinian

After reacting with little enthusiasm to reports Saturday that Hamas had reached an agreement with other Gaza terror groups to stop firing rockets at the western Negev, Israel bombed targets belonging to the Islamist organization overnight Saturday in response to a Kassam attack. Two weapons-manufacturing facilities in the northern and central Gaza, and one smuggling tunnel in the Rafah border area, were hit in the IAF raid, the army said. Palestinian sources said six people were wounded in the strikes. According to the IDF Spokesperson's Office, the attack came in response to a Kassam launched at an Israeli civilian area earlier Saturday. The rocket hit the Sha'ar Hanegev region, causing no casualties or damage. The IDF said it would not tolerate any attacks by terror organizations against Israel and its citizens, adding that nearly 270 rockets and mortar shells had been fired at the South since the end of Operation Cast Lead on January 18, in comparison to over 3300 rockets and mortars fired in the year before the operation. The last month had seen approximately 15 rockets and mortar shells fired at Israel from Gaza, said the army. Hamas's interior minister, Fathi Hamad, had told reporters Saturday that the agreement to stop attacks from Gaza had been made to avoid IDF reactions. Hamad added, however, that if Israel sent soldiers into the Strip, the armed groups would be given "free rein to respond." In response, an official in the Prime Minister's Office said Hamas would "be judged by its actions, not its words." Under the agreement, rockets will only be fired in retaliation for Israeli aggression, Hamad said. The Hamas official also told reporters that the aim of the agreement was to "enable people to rebuild" after Operation Cast Lead last winter. Nevertheless, as if to validate Israel's pessimism regarding the reported deal, the Islamic Jihad denied such an agreement had been reached, saying Sunday that it reserved the right to continue its "legitimate resistance." Herb Keinon contributed to this report