IDF Strikes Gaza Smuggling Tunnels, Weapons Facility

IDF spokesman says strike carried out in response to a Qassam fired into Israel on the previous day.

The Israel Air Force struck smuggling tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border late Wednesday night, a day after Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a Qassam rocket into the western Negev.

The IDF Spokesman's Office reported that the IAF planes also attacked a nearby structure believed to have served as a weapons facility near the Gaza town of Khan Younis.

Palestinian sources said three people were hurt in the attack, which they claimed also targeted a military training compound.

The IDF report also indicated that strike was carried out in response to a Qassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, and which landed in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, in the Western Negev.

"The strikes are in response to continued recent rocket firing into Israel from the Gaza Strip. In the past month some 15 rockets have been fired into Israel," the IDF Spokesman's Office said.

Late last week, the IDF as well Palestinian medical workers reported that Israeli soldiers had shot and killed a Palestinian and wounded at least one other in a confrontation near a Gaza Strip border crossing.

An IDF spokeswoman said the troops opened fire at Palestinians suspected of placing explosives near a security fence. One died of injuries, a second was taken to hospital and three others were seized.

The fatality was the first since August along the tense border of the coastal territory ruled by Hamas Islamists that has remained largely quiet since the Israeli offensive that ended in January.

Gaza medics said they retrieved the body of one Palestinian after the incident at the Karni crossing in central Gaza, and that Israel had picked up another Palestinian who appeared to them to have been wounded critically.

Hamas police described those shot at on Friday as youths who had gone to the area near a Gaza border fence with Israel to hunt for dogs, but did not say whether they were armed.

Following the border incident, Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a Qassam rocket into southern Israel. The attack caused neither injuries nor property damage.