JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli airstrikes killed three Palestinians as they set up equipment to fire rockets at Israel.
The men killed last Friday night in Gaza City were identified as Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives residing in Gaza City, according to an Israel Defense Forces spokesman. They were part of a terrorist cell that has been firing rockets into Israel for the past few weeks, including firing on Sderot during Rosh Hashanah, the IDF said.
The IDF released a video of the strike on the terrorists, which shows them preparing the rocket launchers. It is Israel’s first offensive attack on Gaza since the end of Operation Cast Lead last January.
In the hours following the attack, a Kassam rocket fired from Gaza landed in southern Israel. On Saturday night, a mortar shell launched from Gaza struck southern Israel, causing no injuries or damage, according to reports. The IDF responded by firing two mortar shells toward the site of the launch.