Mortar Shell Lands near Pilgrims

Ad Feedback - EREZ CROSSING, Israel - Late Thursday morning, a mortar shell fired at the Erez Crossing with the Gaza Strip landed near a group of Palestinian pilgrims en route to visit Bethlehem.

A number of Gaza residents seeking treatment in Israeli hospitals were among the pilgrims.

No one was injured by the mortar shell, which miraculously didn't explode on impact. It did, however, damage the facility.

The incident delayed the group's entrance into Israel, but the Defense Ministry approved the resumption of activities at the Erez Crossing a short time later.

While the roof of the building at the Erez Crossing is not reinforced, alternate protective devices are in place.

Meanwhile, following the government's decision Thursday, to allow the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) to respond to Palestinian rocket fire, Hamas officials in Gaza went into hiding.

"Our goal is to make Hamas come to a decision that the fire must stop," one IDF official said.

"This goal can be accomplished by a military operation, which is unpreventable in the current situation," he said, referring to the more than 80 rockets, missiles and mortar shells fired at Israel Wednesday.

"An operation can be carried out in many ways," another official said.

"There is a wide selection of tools we can use, and we don't have to use them all at once," he said.

Source: YNet news

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