IDF Returns Fire at Gaza After Mortar Barrage

YERUSHALAYIM -
Gaza City seen in the background. In the foreground is the border fence between Israel and Gaza. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Red Alert warning sirens sounded Thursday afternoon in towns throughout the Gaza border fence area, as Gazan Arab terrorists fired mortar shells at Israel. Reports said that as many as 15 shells were fired at workers maintaining a part of the Gaza border fence.

IDF forces fired at Hamas installations near the border in response. No injuries or damage were reported on the Israeli side. Earlier the IDF had said that the warning siren was a false alarm. The IDF said in a statement that it considers Hamas responsible for all attacks emanating from Gaza.

In response to the attack, Israel Railways said that it was shutting down all service between Ashkelon and Sderot, areas that are in range of rockets and mortar shells fired by Gaza Arab terrorists. Buses will shuttle passengers on routes between the two cities. Delays were expected for commuters, and heavy traffic was likely, as many soldiers serving in southern Israel rely on the trains to go home for the weekend on Thursday nights.

Meanwhile, two IDF soldiers were lightly injured in a rock throwing attack in Samaria. The incident occurred near Migdalim, not far from where a rampaging Arab gang earlier Thursday attacked a group of Israeli children, throwing rocks and stones at them and forcing them to take shelter in a cave.

One of the rioters was shot by an Israeli security guard, later dying of his wounds. The soldiers, who were riding in a vehicle when they were attacked, continued on to an IDF position, where they received treatment.