The area bordering the Gaza Strip was quiet yesterday after the Israel Air Force attacked targets inside the Strip late on Friday. The air strikes were in response to a Qassam rocket fired from Gaza earlier in the day.
The Qassam landed in Kibbutz Zikim. No injuries or property damage was reported. On Friday morning a mortar shell fired from the Strip fell in the area of the Eshkol Regional Council, in the northwest Negev, also causing no damage. In response to that attack the IAF struck two Hamas targets in the northern Gaza Strip and a weapons' smuggling tunnel in the Rafah area of the southern Gaza Strip.
Two years after Operation Cast Lead, the Israel Defense Forces is said to believe that Hamas, which has not been firing at Israel or attacking IDF forces patrolling the border, is "testing boundaries" by allowing groups under its control, such as the Popular Resistance Committees and Islamic Jihad, to carry out more attacks.
In early December Hamas fired a missile at an IDF tank.
The defense establishment reportedly believes Hamas wants to avoid an escalation until it has completed the rebuilding of its military infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas has been investing over the past year in training and advanced anti-tank missiles and planes smuggled to the Gaza Strip. It is also expanding its network of tunnels and underground positions. The organization has acquired longer-range ground-to-ground rockets, including the Fajr-5, which has a range of about 90 kilometers, and is building reinforced concrete launch silos for the Fajr rockets.
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