The IDF Spokesperson' Office said that the terrorist "was involved in smuggling weapons and sought to advance military operations in Sinai." The army added that "lately there have been several attempts by Gaza terrorists to carry out attacks in Sinai and that was what this operative was involved in."Of course, Islamic Jihad had no problems firing new rockets at Israel, and one of the rockets fired at Israel instead landed in Egypt, injuring a woman.
Several hours after the strike, two mortar shells exploded in the Western Negev causing no injuries or damage.
The offensive prompted a senior member of the organization in Gaza, Ahmad al-Mudallal, to threaten retaliation and declare that "this crime was meant to underline that Israel only understands the language of blood and terror."
"We will take action against the enemy in a language that it understands, the language of blood," he added. "We will not ignore the crimes it commits against our people."
Also overnight, an IAF jet targeted two terrorists in Gaza after they were spotted attempting to fire rockets at southern Israel from two different locations.
But for the Palestinian terror attack on Eilat, Israel would not be carrying out attacks against those responsible. Israel has shown tremendous restraint in going after the terrorist infrastructure, and Israel has released information showing just how Israel sought to limit any damage to Egyptian security stationed along the border as Israeli forces hunted down the terrorists responsible for the Eilat attacks.
Videos shot from the aircraft show that the troops intentionally diverted fire from the Egyptian all-terrain vehicles and soldiers towards open areas near the border base, from which the terrorist sniper fire originated.Mirroring how Hizbullah launched attacks against Israel from within the vicinity of UNIFIL positions so as to result in counterbattery attacks falling on UNIFIL, so too did the Gazan terrorists use the Egyptian forces as human shields.
The terrorists, who positioned themselves a few dozen meters from the Egyptian military post, launched an RPG rocket at one of the helicopters, and directed machine gun fire at it.
In addition, an examination of the bodies of the terrorists killed by the IDF clearly showed that at least three of them were Egyptian citizens. One was a member of a radical Egyptian group who was tried in the country.
The terrorists purposefully used the Egyptian positions to attack Israel - firing from within those areas so as to maximize the casualties and potentially bring Israel into a shooting conflict with Egyptian security forces - raising the stakes for all involved.
What the terrorists didn't count on was the tremendous restraint shown by both the Israelis and Egyptian security forces.
Meanwhile, Hamas claims that Israel is fabricating the Eilat terror attacks so as to provide a means for going after Gaza. This is nothing more than propaganda from Hamas, which can't rebut the photographic and video evidence proffered by Israel showing how the terrorists operated, where they came from, and who was involved.
For its part, Egypt is planning on launching a new initiative to destroy the smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Sinai.