JERUSALEM, Israel -- A Gaza-based terrorist opened fire with a heavy machine gun earlier this week, damaging two civilian cars parked outside a restaurant in a shopping area in Kibbutz Yad Mordechai. No one was killed or injured in the attack.
Several bullets embedded themselves in a car baby seat that undoubtedly would have brought tragedy had the baby been in it.
In the second car, bullets went through the roof and hit the dashboard. The owner said he would probably have been killed had he been in the car.
After examining the 15-mm (0.5-caliber) ammunition embedded in the restaurant wall, the vehicles and several adjacent shops, police concluded the gunman used a heavy-duty machine gun with a longer range than the standard 12.7-mm weapons.
Police said it was unlikely the gunman targeted the shopping plaza specifically since it's not directly visible from the Gaza Strip. It's not the first time Palestinians have opened fire at southern Israel with heavy machine gun fire.
Following the incident, the IDF raised the level of alert in the area and later targeted the terror infrastructure in Rafah and Khan Younis in response to the machinegun fire and rocket attacks the same day.
"This could have ended entirely differently," said an Israeli who was in the restaurant when the attack occurred.
"Heavy bullets like those could have killed someone instantly, and there were dozens of people here when it happened. We can say that a miracle happened here."
On June 1, a Palestinian gunmen cut through the security fence under cover of early morning fog and killed an Israeli soldier. Two weeks earlier, a sniper injured two soldiers near the Kissufim border crossing. And in mid-June, a sniper fired on an Israeli farmer, who managed to take cover and avoid injury.