JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s Air Force struck a terrorist squad in the southern Gaza Strip shortly after it fired a mortar shell at Israeli troops doing work in the border area.
Three Palestinians, members of the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, were killed in the Tuesday afternoon airstrike, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported.
“They were in confrontation with the occupation trying to stop the progress of Israeli military vehicles which were approaching the area,” said a statement issued by the Al-Quds Brigade.
IDF infantry and engineering corps were performing routine work in the area, according to reports.
“Rapid reaction and operational capabilities are key to combating terrorist activities against Israel and our forces,” said IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. “Terrorists must know that there is a price to pay when participating in aggression.”
The incident occurred several hours after an Israel Air Force drone crashed in southern Gaza in what is being called a technical malfunction.
Members of the Islamic terror group Hamas reportedly retrieved the wreckage.