The IDF stated that nearly 200 mortar shells and missiles have been fired at southern Israel this year, despite the ceasefire that Israel and Hamas declared in separate statements after the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign ended nearly two years ago.
The Israeli army and air force have retaliated after almost every attack, usually bombing smuggling tunnels and weapons factories. The Defense Ministry has not explained why the targets are struck only after an attack on Israeli soldiers or civilians, although many of the tunnels are designed to transport terrorists for carrying out missions to kidnap Israeli soldiers.
A week ago Saturday night, the air force a smuggling tunnel in southern Gaza in response to an attack in which 10 mortar shells rained down on Gaza Belt communities and a Grad rocket exploded near the town of Ofakim.
In a separate incident Sunday, Israeli soldiers fired on several Arab youth who approached the security border despite warning shots. They apparently were scavenging for building material.