Palestinians Detonate Bomb, Fire Mortars

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Palestinian terrorists belonging to the al-Quds Brigades, the "armed" wing of Islamic Jihad, detonated a bomb, then fired a mortar shell at Israeli troops performing a routine activity near the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip, the IDF Spokesperson's Office reported Wednesday.

Shortly afterward, terrorists fired another five mortars at a kibbutz (farming community) in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. No injuries or property damage were reported.

After pinpointing the cell's location, the soldiers returned fire, confirming a direct hit. Seven terrorists were wounded by shrapnel, one critically and two seriously, Palestinian sources reported initially. A short time later, they said 11 were injured, including three children.

The al-Quds Brigades issued a statement saying "a group of its members was targeted," omitting any reference to the bomb or mortar shell attacks.

Since the beginning of the year, Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip have planted more than a dozen roadside bombs along the border with Israel.

On Tuesday, IDF troops uncovered two roadside bombs along the border with southern Gaza. Army sappers detonated the devices in controlled explosions.

The IDF Spokesperson's Office said it "holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for maintaining the calm in the Gaza Strip and for any terrorist activity emanating from it."

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