An Israeli soldier walks towards a military vehicle during a patrol along the border with Gaza near
An Israeli soldier walks towards a military vehicle during a patrol along the border with Gaza near Kibbutz Kissufim March 13, 2014. Photo by Reuters
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Several mortar shells were fired toward an IDF force operating near the Gaza Strip border just before midnight on Sunday. No one was injured.

The attack occurred near the Kissufim border crossing.

On April 6, Israel Air Force jets struck five targets in the Gaza Strip, after a rocket launched from Gaza landed in an open area near the city of Ashkelon.

Hamas officials said that four successive airstrikes hit training areas. Ashraf al-Qedra, emergency spokesman in the Gaza Ministry of Health, told reporters that no injuries were reported following the successive airstrikes.

A similar flare-up occured two days prior, on April 4, when four rockets hit in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council in the western Negev. No one was wounded. IDF struck several targets in the Strip shortly after. Palestinians reported two Gaza residents were wounded by the Israeli air strike: a 30-year-old man and a one-year-old child.

Responsibility for the missile attacks lies squarely upon Hamas, the IDF spokesman said in statements following the attacks, saying it "will continue to act forcefully and decisively against any who utilize terror against the State of Israel."

March escalation

Three weeks ago, Israel Defense Forces and Gaza militants exchanged heavy fire over a period of several days. More than 70 rockets were fired from the Strip in a single day on March 14. The Israel Air Force responded with a series of strikes against dozens of targets within the Strip.

The March escalation began after Islamic Jihad militants opened fire at IDF troops engaged working in the so-called "perimeter area," a 100-meter-wide belt along the Palestinian side off the fence. Israeli aircraft struck the militants, killing three of them.

According to the Egyptian-mediated understandings agreed upon by Israel and the Hamas after the end of Pillar of Defense, the IDF is allowed to work unhindered within the perimeter. Most of its action there is unearthing of IEDs which might endanger IDF troops moving along the Israeli side.

Islamic Jihad responded to the killing of its men with heavy missile fire, to which Israel reacted aggressively. Only some two days later was a ceasefire reached, through Egyptian mediation.