IAF foils terrorist attempt to launch Grad rocket at Ashkelon
22 March 2011 , 21:38
IAF strikes terrorist cell that was attempting to launch a rocket
IAF aircraft on Tuesday thwarted an attempt by a four-man terrorist cell to launch to a Grad rocket into Israel from the Gaza Strip. Archive photo IDF Spokeperson
IAF aircraft on Tuesday hit a four-man terrorist cell that was attempting to fire a Grad rocket into Israel from the Gaza Strip

IDF Website

On Tuesday evening (Mar. 22), Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked a cell of four terrorists in the Gaza Strip as they attempted to launch a Grad rocket towards Israel. A hit was identified and the IAF planes returned to their base safely.

The terrorists were attempting to launch the Grad rocket a short time after another Grad rocket fell in open territory in Ashkelon, causing no injuries or damage.
Earlier on Tuesday, high-trajectory fire was directed from the northern Gaza Strip towards the western Negev region of Israel. The IDF responded with mortars targeting the launching site in the Gaza Strip.

Uninvolved civilians were apparently injured as a result of the IDF response.

The circumstances of the incident are currently being investigated.

The IDF regrets harm to uninvolved civilians, but emphasizes that the Hamas terrorist organization chooses to operate from within the heart of the civilian population, using civilians as human shields.

Also on Tuesday, IDF forces identified a group of terrorists preparing to launch an anti-tank missile toward IDF soldiers in the northern Gaza Strip. IDF forces shot toward the group and a direct hit was confirmed.

Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, referred to the situation in the south during a joint visit to the northern border with President Shimon Peres on Tuesday.

"In the south, there have been serious incidents in recent days," Lt. Gen. Gantz said. "Israel has no interest in escalation but also does not intend to give up the right to self-defense."

The IDF will continue to respond firmly to the firing of rockets and any other type of terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip and will not tolerate any attempts to harm Israeli citizens or IDF soldiers. The IDF suggests that Hamas not attempt to escalate the situation or test the IDF's strength.