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Israel fires on terror suspect in targeted attack in Gaza

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Air Force fired on and seriously injured a Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative in the Gaza Strip.

The Israel Defense Forces Spokesman’s Office said that an Israeli aircraft launched a targeted attack Sunday morning on a motorcycle carrying Ahmad Sa’ad, 22, who the IDF said is a specialist in rocket launching and is “personally responsible” for five rockets fired at Ashkelon last week, which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. The IDF has also identified him as the person in charge of numerous launches at southern Israel, including during Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012 and in March 2012.

Sa’ad was seriously injured, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, and a 12-year-old bystander was injured by shrapnel.

“Gaza terrorists must know that there is a personal price to pay when planning and executing terror attacks against Israel,” said IDF Spokesman Lt-Col. Peter Lerner in a statement. “There is no immunity for those that partake in projectile terrorism. The IDF targeted an integral component of the Gaza terrorist mechanism in order to diminish terrorist capabilities and send a clear message of intolerance to the aggression from the Hamas territory.”

Hours earlier, on Saturday night, the IDF fired on what it identified as two “terror activity sites” in the southern and in the central Gaza Strip. The attack on the Gaza Strip was in retaliation for a rocket fired on Saturday night at about 11:30 p.m., which struck the in Sha’ar Hanegev regional council in southern Israel.

Also on Saturday night, a Palestinian gunman opened fire on the West Bank settlement of Migdal Oz, located in the Gush Etzion bloc.

The gunman fired on a security officer on guard duty at the entrance to the settlement.

He was captured by security forces and taken in for questioning.

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