Air Strike on Rocket Launch Kills One

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GAZA STRIP - An Israeli air strike on a rocket-launching cell in the northern Gaza Strip killed one terrorist and injured four others, according to Palestinian sources.

Dr. Moaiya Hassanain of the Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed the man's death, and Islamic Jihad identified him as one of their members.

Wednesday night's air strike followed Tuesday's rocket and mortar shell blitz on southern Israel, which wound up totaling some 45 Kassam rocket and dozens of mortar shell attacks.

While Hamas claimed that the Israel Defense Force's operation to destroy the smuggling tunnel was a violation of the temporary truce, IDF officials said building tunnels at Israel's border breached the terms of the cease-fire.

Schools Open, Residents Go About Their Routines

Though rocket attacks continued through Wednesday evening, area schools remained open and residents went about their normal workday routines.

The IDF Home Front Command redistributed an instruction sheet on what to do during rocket and mortar shell attacks.

Meanwhile, Defense Ministry Diplomatic-Military Bureau head Major General Amos Gilad said the decision to destroy the smuggling tunnel would not bring the cease-fire to an end.

"(This smuggling tunnel posed a ) totally unreasonable risk," Gilad told Israel Radio. "It was worth making every effort to thwart it, (but) I don't believe this marks the end of the truce," he said.

Hamas is keen on extending the cease-fire, which has allowed it to continue arms and explosives smuggling into Gaza and to build underground bunkers and other infrastructure in preparation for a confrontation with Israel.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered border crossings to the Gaza Strip closed until further notice.

Sources: YNet news, The Jerusalem Post

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