Third Barrel Bomb Washes Up on Israeli Beach

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RISHON LEZION, Israel - A third explosives-laden barrel washed up on an Israeli beach on Wednesday afternoon, following two found earlier this week.

On Monday, the same type of bomb-laden barrels, with cellular phone detonators sealed in waterproof wrapping, washed up on public beaches in Ashkelon and Ashdod. IDF sappers detonated the bombs in controlled explosions.

In retaliation for the attempted attacks, Israel Air Force jets targeted Hamas smuggling tunnels along the Philadelphi Corrider - a narrow strip of land separating the Gaza Strip from the Egyptian Sinai.

An IDF Spokesperson's Office statement held Hamas responsible and said the IDF "will continue to operate with determination and force against those who use terror against Israel."

Beaches have remained closed since Monday as police continue combing the area for additional devices.

The Navy, which is patrolling the coastline, said the bombs were meant for naval vessels and they're expecting to find more of them.

Three Palestinian terror groups - Islamic Jihad, Popular Resistance Committees and the PA Fatah faction's al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades - all claimed responsibility for the attacks.

"We confirm that there are still many of these charges in the ocean, and they haven't exploded yet," Popular Resistance Committees spokesman Abu Saed said. 

On Friday, Navy patrol boats heard two explosions near Gaza.

"It is no coincidence there were no casualties at the end," one Navy officer said.

"We were prepared and are working in a way that would foil such future incidents. The Navy has the appropriate capabilities to handle the situation, including observation means intended to detect such devices," he said.

"Terrorist organizations commonly use innocent fishing boats to carry out attacks, which makes it hard for us," he said.

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YNet news contributed to this report

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