(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
 
Today, Palestinian terrorists fired a large number of mortar shells at Israeli communities in Gush Katif, in the southern Gaza Strip.

The IAF identified a Hamas terrorist cell as it was about to launch mortar shells at Gush Katif, and targeted the cell. The mortar shell launcher and one of the cell’s terrorists were identified to be hit.

During the night a Hamas terrorist approached the Israeli-Egyptian border with the intention of laying and detonating an explosive device against IDF forces near the border. According to information passed on to the IDF from Palestinian officials, the terrorist was apparently killed as a result of a malfunction in the explosive device he was carrying.

In addition terrorist organizations fired two anti-tank missiles and opened fire, in several separate incidents, at IDF posts in the southern Gaza Strip.

Despite the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to prevent terrorist activity, it is not stopping the firing of mortar shells and Qassam rockets at Israeli communities and IDF posts. The Palestinian police was notified of the mortar shell firing at the communities of Gush Katif, and arrived at the scene of the launchings, however failed to operate to stop the launchings or to arrest the terrorists involved.

Palestinian terrorist organizations, among them Hamas, continue their terrorist activities, and in doing so break the period of calm between Israel and the PA.

The IDF is responsible for the safety of the citizens of the State of Israel and will continue to act against those who try to harm them.