JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli Air Force bombed Hamas smuggling tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border.
The bombing raid early Wednesday morning near Rafah was in response to a border attack Tuesday on an Israeli patrol that left one Israeli soldier, a Bedouin tracker, dead and three others wounded. On Tuesday evening, an Israeli airstrike killed a Palestinian in Khan Younis identified by the Israel Defense Forces as a terror operative prominent in the organization responsible for the attack.
Also Wednesday morning, a Kassam rocket fired from Gaza struck an open field in the western Negev.
"The IDF sees Hamas as responsible for preserving the peace in Israel’s southern villages and will respond harshly to any attempt of undermining it," an IDF statement released Wednesday said.
U.S. special Middle East envoy George Mitchell is expected to arrive in Israel later Wednesday to begin the task of reviving the Israel-Palestinian peace process.