On June 25, 2003, IDF forces identified and struck a Hamas terrorist cell in Khan Yhounis about to fire mortars at Israeli communities.

It should be noted that the above-mentioned Hamas terrorist cell was also involved in launching Qassam rockets.

Over the past few months, there has been an increase in the number of Qassam rockets and mortars fired by the Hamas. Since September 2000, over 140 Qassam rockets and 1,700 mortars have been launched from the Gaza Strip area.