JERUSALEM (JWN)—Israel Air Force aircraft attacked two Islamic Jihad terrorist squads in the northern Gaza Strip early Wednesday as they were preparing to launch rockets at southern Israel. One terrorist was killed and five others were wounded in the strike east of Gaza City’s al-Zaytoun neighborhood, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported.
The agency said the terrorists belonged to Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Brigades.
Yesterday’s attack was the first IAF strike since planes hit two sites in Gaza in response to a rocket fired into southern Israel. The rocket, which exploded in an open area of the Eshkol Regional Council, caused no injuries or damage.
In a statement the IDF pledged to “continue to take action against those who use terror against the state of Israel.”
Last month Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz warned that the IDF is prepared to launch an operation to protect hundreds of thousands of civilians in the South from the threat of Gaza rocket attacks if it is forced to do so.
“If we don’t have a choice, we’ll know how to operate in Gaza, and when it happens, we will initiate an orderly and painful [operation],” Gantz told Israel Radio.
Islamic Jihad, a splinter group of the larger Hamas terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip, has carried out a number of attacks on Israel’s civilian population in recent months. Israel holds Hamas responsible for all attacks that emanate from Gaza, accusing it of encouraging violence by other groups.