Israel Strikes Gaza After Overnight Mortar Attack

Kibbutz security chief is the first casualty of rocket fire from Gaza since March.

The IDF launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip early Thursday morning, hours after a mortar shell fired by militants wounded a man at an agricultural community close to the border, IDF officials said.

A military spokeswoman said the strikes were aimed at three separate targets in the Gaza Strip, two of which militants confirmed were sites they used for training. No casualties were reported.

rocket - Limor Edri - June 24, 2005
Limor Edri

The IDF strike was apparently in retaliation for a rocket attack from Gaza on Wednesday night. Gaza militants fired about five mortar rounds late on Wednesday and fragments from one of them wounded one man.

The man, the head of security in one of the kibbutzim in the Eshkol region, which borders the Gaza Strip, was reportedly hit in the neck by a piece of shrapnel outside his home. He was taken by helicopter to hospital in Beersheba, but his wounds were not life-threatening, the IDF spokeswoman said.

He was the first casualty from shells fired by Gaza militants into Israel since March when an agricultural laborer from Thailand was killed when he was hit by a mortar shell.

Residents of surrounding towns were ordered by the Israel Defense Forces to stay in their shelters until further notice.

Earlier this month Israel Defense Forces soldiers killed two armed Palestinian militants suspected to trying to infiltrate through the Gaza Strip border.