IAF hits Gaza targets after slew of rockets strike Israel
A Grad rocket along with several Qassam rockets and mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel over the weekend, resulting in damage to property but no casualties, the army said. The attacks prompted the Israel Air Force to carry out retaliatory strikes against Gaza targets.
On Thursday, three mortar shells and one Qassam rocket were fired at Israel, and on Thursday night a Grad rocket was fired on a moshav near Ashkelon, damaging a dairy and injuring some cows.
On Friday, seven mortar shells fired from Gaza landed in the Eshkol and Hof Ashkelon regional councils.
No casualties were reported from the attacks, but the army noted that some of the shells contained phosphorus.
The Israel Air Force retaliated by carrying out three strikes in the Strip, on Friday afternoon and last night, reportedly wounding eight people. In the first, a strike on a house in Deir el-Balah in the center of Gaza, four people were wounded, two of them women. In the second IAF attack, in Khan Yunis, a man and a child were wounded. A later strike that same night, targeting a tunnel near Rafah, left two Palestinians wounded.
The Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for all of the attacks launched from Gaza, saying the rocket and mortar fire was retaliation for the killing of two members of the Army of Islam, Mohammed Nimnim and Islam Yassin. The two Gazan leaders of the Palestinian Islamist group inspired by al-Qaida were killed in Israel Defense Forces air strikes on November 3 and 17 respectively.
Sources in the Southern Command told Haaretz they do not believe the incidents signified a renewed escalation of violence around the Gaza Strip, but were rather a localized response by the terrorist organizations to the killing of the two militants.