Israel Responds to Mortar Barrage in the South

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Israel Defense Forces targeted the terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip on Saturday after Palestinians fired more than 50 mortar shells on southern Israel. Six Palestinians were reportedly injured in the strikes.

Residents of the Eshkol Regional Council were instructed to stay indoors throughout the morning. Most of the shells hit open fields, but one building in Kibbutz Kissufim was heavily damaged. A husband and wife were lightly injured by shrapnel. Mortars also exploded in the Sha'ar Hanegev and Sdot Hanegev regional councils.

The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the "military wing" of Hamas - the Islamic Resistance Movement - claimed responsibility for a dozen of the mortars, but the IDF Spokesperson's Office said Israel holds Hamas "solely responsible for the attacks."

Israeli Foreign Ministry Avigdor Lieberman asked Israel's U.N. envoy in New York to file a formal complaint with the United Nations. On Friday, Israeli diplomats filed an official complaint with the U.N. after Navy commandos intercepted a freighter carrying 50 tons of Iranian-made weaponry. The Victoria set set sail from Syria, with an overnight stay in Turkey.

In February, Hamas terrorists fired two Grad-type Katyusha missiles at Beersheva. It was the first rocket attack on Beersheva since Operation Cast Lead in 2009.

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