Palestinian terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip fired two rockets into southern Israel on Wednesday. Both rockets landed in open areas and did not cause any injuries or damage.
Israeli aircraft responded during the predawn hours on Thursday by striking a Hamas police station and a terrorist training camp in Gaza. Palestinians reported that four people were wounded in those retaliatory strikes.
The past month has seen a sharp rise in the number of Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel.
During September, Gaza-based Palestinians fired 30 missiles and mortar shells into Israel, more than double the number of attacks that occurred in August. Palestinians in Gaza have launched 163 missiles and mortar shells at Israeli towns in 2010.
Defense officials believe the current escalation is part of an effort to derail peace negotiations between Israel and Hamas’ rivals in the Palestinian Authority.
Israelis argue that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is not a viable peace partner if he only speaks for and can only control half of the Palestinian Arabs.