Photo: AP
IDF soldiers in Beit Lahiya, Gaza
Photo: AP
Photo: AP
Palestinian gunmen
Photo: AP
Gaza: 9 gunmen killed in IAF strike
Gunmen killed in Air Force attack in northern Gaza. Earlier, Five gunmen killed in attack on al-Atatra neighborhood; Palestinians report 15 injuries from shell that landed on family home in Bet Lahiya. Later, Palestinian shot to death in Jabalya. IDF: We only fire at gunmen

Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip reported Friday morning that a gunman was killed and four were wounded from a missile fired by an Israel Air Force aircraft at the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya.


On Thursday evening, five gunmen were killed in an Air Force attack in northern Gaza. Three other gunmen were injured in the attack, two of them critically.


Earlier, Palestinians reported that 15 people were injured by an Israel Defense Forces shell which struck a home in Bet Lahiya. Since the IDF's entrance into northern Gaza, 24 Palestinians, most of them gunmen, have been killed.


The IDF confirmed that the Air Force struck at the al-Atatra neighborhood against a gunmen cell. The army said in a statement: "The IDF will continue to operate against terror targets in Gaza in order to create the proper conditions for the safe return of Corporal Gilad Shalit home and in a bid to put an end to the terror activities and Qassam fire at Israel."


Later a Palestinian gunman was killed in an IAF strike in Jabalya and according to Palestinian sources, another two gunmen were killed by an IAF missile attack on Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip. 


Fighting in Gaza (Video: Reuters) (צילום: רויטרס)


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The Palestinians reported that at least eight people, most of them gunmen, were killed during the afternoon during a direct hit by an Israeli tank shell in the Beit Lahiya and Jabalya area; 20 other people were injured in the attack, some of them seriously. Two Palestinians armed with an antitank missile were identified in Beit Lahiya Thursday afternoon, a tank identified them and fired in their direction, killing them.


Sources in the IDF said that since the morning hours, a number of incidents have taken place in which IDF forces, including the Air Force, have struck gunmen.

Forces in Strip (Photo: Reuters)


According to the sources, in every attack, fire is directed at terrorists, and according to figures in the army's hands, since the start of peration "Summer Rains," which began after the kidnapping of soldier Gilad Shalit, over 20 gunmen have been killed in Gaza.


IDF forces also operated in southern Gaza, and the Air Force fired a missile at a group of gunmen in Khan Younis. Two Islamic Jihad members, Muhmmad Suleiman al-Najar and Muhammad Abu Tir were killed and a dozen Palestinians were killed.


Meanwhile, the wide ground activity in the Dahaniya district is carrying on, due to concerns of additional tunnels and explosive devices – in an attempt to increase the pressure on the soldier's kidnappers. IDF sources say that the gunmen are using the civilian population as a "human shield."


Hanan Greenberg contributed to this report


First published: 06.07.06, 22:46
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