Exchanges of fire along Gaza border continue as 16 Palestinians wounded
Exchanges of fire continued along the Gaza border over the weekend, and at least 16 Palestinians were hurt, two of them seriously, in a series of air force strikes.
The Israeli air attacks came after a Thai farm worker, Mani Singmanfon, was killed by a Qassam rocket on Thursday morning. Since the fighting began, a total of 12 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Notwithstanding the sporadic exchanges of fire, both Israel and Hamas appear to be trying to avoid a broader confrontation. Offensive action was limited on both sides.
The Thai worker was killed while working in a greenhouse at Moshav Ha'asara. The deadly Qassam was fired by a group calling itself "Battalions of the Sunni Believers," an extremist Islamist militia.
Social workers treated 50 other Thai workers for shock, with the assistance of translators.
Israel responds to deadly attack
Late Thursday night, the air force struck six targets in the Gaza Strip in response to the rocket attack.
The targets included a weapons workshop in Gaza City, three arms smuggling tunnels near Rafah along the border with Sinai, and two other tunnels east of Khan Yunis, which are believed to have been dug to stage an attack inside Israel.
Two Palestinians were lightly injured in the bombing of one of the tunnels near Rafah.
On Friday, Palestinians fired five rockets from Gaza. One struck an open field near a kibbutz south of Ashkelon, causing no damage, and the other four landed within Gaza.
On Friday night the IDF struck back, this time against several targets near the abandoned Dahaniyeh airport, near Rafah.
Fourteen Palestinians were reported injured as a result of the air strikes, two of them seriously.
More than 400 rockets have been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip this year.
However, the IDF and GOC Southern Command are waiting to see whether Hamas will contain the attacks by the more radical militias, before they decide whether to intensify Israel's response.