(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

During the past week, IDF ground forces, with the assistance of the Air Force, continued to operate in the Gaza Strip in order to distance terrorist organizations, particularly Hamas, from the security fence. Forces also continued their operation against the firing of Kassam rockets and mortar shells, which are fired on a daily basis at Israel. The forces targeted structures used by the terrorist organizations, rocket and mortar launching cells and armed gunmen.

On Sunday, February 17, an IDF soldier, serving in an elite unit, was severely wounded in exchanges of fire between Palestinian gunmen and IDF forces operating in the southern Gaza Strip. Forces also carried out several aerial attacks against armed Palestinian gunmen and identified hitting them.

On Monday, February 18, a Palestinian gunman opened fire at an IDF force patrolling the Israeli side of the security fence. The force fired back at the gunman and identified hitting him. A firearm and a military vest were uncovered on his person.

On Tuesday, February 19, during an IDF operation near the security fence, Palestinian gunmen opened fire at the soldiers. The force fired back and identified hitting the gunmen.

On Thursday, February 21, the IDF targeted and hit an armed rocket launcher in northern Gaza, in the area of Beit Hanoun. 

In the past week, Palestinians fired over 60 Kassam rockets and approximately 50 mortar shells at Israeli communities in the western Negev.