A day after Palestinian mortar shells killed an Israeli and wounded three others, 10 Gazans were injured in retaliatory airstrikes and Israeli soldier was injured near the Gaza border when gunmen open fire on the patrol unit.
On Thursday, Amnon Rosenberg, 5-year-old father of three, was killed by a mortar shell attack on a Nirlat Groups facility located in Nir Oz. Palestinian doctors reported Thursday afternoon that a 4-year-old girl was killed and her mother wounded in an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip.
The escalations comes as Israel mulls a strong military offensive in Gaza. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, returning from a trip to the United States, said a decision is at hand.
“According to the information we have now, the pendulum is closer to a decision to embark on a harsh operation in the Gaza Strip than it is to an agreement with the terror organizations," he said.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who visited the scene of the attack on Thursday, said a military operation in Gaza "is closer than ever and it will likely precede the cease-fire."
But area resident and Eshkol Regional Council head Haim Yalin said he got the impression from the defense minister that a wide-scale IDF operation in Gaza wasn't close.
"We don't care if it is a military operation or a peace deal. All we want is security," he continued.