Imad al-Alami, the terror group’s longtime liaison to Iran, was inspecting his weapon when it accidentally went off, a Hamas spokesman said.
The Gaza rocket landed in an open field in southern Israel.
The Hamas members planned to disguise themselves as local Jewish residents and entice a victim to enter their vehicle, the Shin Bet said.
“There is no more fitting or beautiful gift, as we approach 70 years of the State of Israel’s independence,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said.
Three Palestinians were injured in the retaliatory strike. No Israelis were injured in the original mortar attack.
“Disarming us is like Satan dreaming of heaven. No one can take away our weapons.”
JERUSALEM Any Palestinian government “must unambiguously and explicitly” commit to nonviolence, recognize Israel and accept previous agreemen
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had seven conditions, including that Hamas recognize Israel, disarm and sever ties with Iran.
The alert sounded a few days after Hamas allegedly agreed not to fire rockets into Israel as part of a Palestinian unity plan.
Israel said that the deal will only be acceptable if Hamas recognizes Israel and gives up its weapons.