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Mortar Shell Barrage from Gaza Strip, IDF Retaliates

Mortar Shell Barrage from Gaza Strip, IDF Retaliates

"The attack was carried out in response to high-trajectory fire at an Israel Defense Forces post at the northern end of Gaza", the army said in a statement.

Furthermore, the Israeli army fired more than five artillery shells into Palestinian farmlands, north of Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

Following the tunnel demolition, Islamic Jihad vowed to retaliate, but Thursday's action was the first significant reaction by militants that the Israeli military ascribed to the group.

No injuries were reported on either side of the fence dividing the Gaza Strip from Israel.

The army confirmed shortly thereafter that they had targeted "two additional military posts belonging to terror organizations in the Gaza Strip".

Conricus said the mortars probably were fired in retaliation for Israel's destruction of an attack tunnel that snaked from Gaza into Israel that the Islamic Jihad militant group was building. Service resumed about two hours later.

"Hamas and Fatah are asking Egypt to postpone the transfer of the government roles from December 1 to December 10 in order to finalise arrangements to ensure the completion of national reconciliation steps", said a statement from Hamas, the Islamist rulers of the Gaza Strip.

Problems in implementing the October accord have included how to resolve the issue of two separate civil adminstrations as well as security control of the Gaza Strip, with Hamas refusing to disarm.

According to Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, the IDF knows the names of the perpetrators and that they belong to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, though it still holds Hamas responsible.

"The Palestinian resistance has the full right to defend and respond to this risky escalation".