In response to attacks, IAF aircraft targets rocket launcher in northern Gaza Strip

Archive photo: IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson

In a second operation over the past 24 hours, the IDF (Zahal) responds to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip with a targeted IAF operation striking the rocket launcher from which Grads were fired toward Israel earlier on Wednesday (Mar. 23)

Date: 23/03/2011, 3:36 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

An IAF aircraft struck a rocket launcher in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday (Mar. 23) from which a Grad rocket was fired toward the city of Ashdod the previous night. This is the second operation following an IAF aircraft’s targeting of a terrorist in the same area. Direct hits were confirmed in both operations.

On Wednesday morning (Mar. 23), Hamas terrorist activities continued when a Grad rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in the city of Be’er Sheba. The rocket landed around 5:30 a.m. and caused damage to infrastructure and a residential building. One man was lightly injured by shrapnel and was transported to the Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheba. Three other people were treated by rescue forces for shock.

Another Grad rocket fell in an open area and seven mortar shells fell and exploded in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council without causing no injuries or damage.

On Tuesday evening, an IAF aircraft targeted a cell of terrorists in the Gaza Strip as they attempted to launch a Grad rocket towards Israel. A hit was identified and the IAF planes returned to their base safely.

The terrorists were attempting to launch the Grad rocket a short time after another Grad rocket fell in open territory in Ashkelon, causing no injuries or damage.

The terrorist cell hit by the IAF was the same cell that launched a Grad rocket that landed in Be’er Sheba in February.

Due to the recent increase in rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, the IDF (Zahal) is asking that the residents of the Ashdod area, like the residents of the area near the Gaza border, remain in shelters for 10 minutes following the sounding of warning sirens.

The IDF (Zahal) will continue to respond firmly to the firing of rockets and any other type of terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip and will not tolerate any attempts to harm Israeli citizens or IDF (Zahal) soldiers. The IDF (Zahal) suggests that Hamas not attempt to escalate the situation or test the IDF (Zahal)’s strength.