Israel Strikes Gaza as Palestinians Fire Mortar Shells

The attack took place near a Hamas position in southern Gaza, the Israeli army says. The army says it will 'continue to act intensively against Hamas' terror activity'

A strike on Gaza, last week.
Khalil Hamra/AP

One rocket was fired at Israel from Gaza, the Israeli army reported on Thursday, after the army said it attacked Palestinians launching incendiary balloons toward Israel. A statement said that the strike took place near a Hamas position in the southern Gaza Strip, near the border with Israel. 

The IDF said it attacked a Hamas observation point.  One person was killed and three others wounded, Gaza's Health Ministry reported. 

The army confirmed that there were two mortar shells fired near the border. No casualties or injuries were reported. Rocket alarm sirens sounded soon after the mortar fire.

The army said it will continue to act intensively against Hamas' terror activity and in regards to any severe activity.

>> Gaza flare-up: Israel must admit the truth - Burning kites don’t justify war | Analysis ■ Not just flaming kites: What could really ignite the next round of Israel-Hamas violence in Gaza | Analysis  ■ Netanyahu: Israel won't allow flaming kites from Gaza to continue ■ The strange and violent history of kites

The incident comes days after a group representing all responsible for launching Gaza's airborne firebombs vowed to continue its operations against Israel.  

"We hereby declare that our non-violent actions will continue and even more intensively, until we meet the demands of the Palestinian people to remove the blockade," the group said in a written statement.

The incendiary balloon and kite flyers "stress that the pace of kite and balloon dispatches will intensify with the blockade."

There were reports on Tuesday that Hamas and Islamic Jihad were continuing their contacts with Egyptian intelligence in an effort to achieve an easing of the Gaza blockade from Israel and Egypt.

Egyptian and Palestinian sources told Haaretz on Tuesday that Hamas is inclined to accept an agreement calling for a halt to the launching of the incendiary devices in exchange for Israel revoking its decision this week to stop fuel shipments into the Strip through the Kerem Shalom border crossing, through Sunday.