Eight Palestinians were killed Wednesday evening in an Air Force strike in central Gaza, the IDF said. Palestinians sources reported two unarmed Palestinians were killed and a number of children were wounded when an IAF helicopter gunship fired four missiles towards a group of people in the area of al-Maghazi.
The IDF said soldiers identified a cell of gunmen armed with antitank missiles and opened fire on them.
The operation was part of an ongoing IDF operation in Gaza, which was launched Tuesday night in the al-Muazi refugee camp and has thus far killed 17 gunmen.
Earlier Wednesday, in the framework of the same operation, five Israeli troops were wounded when Palestinians hurled a grenade towards them. Forces opened fire in response, hitting and killed two of the gunmen.
The wounded soldiers were evacuated to Soroka hospital in Beer Sheva to be treated for shrapnel wounds. Two were in moderate condition and the rest were in light condition. Palestinian sources reported seven Palestinians were killed in the battle.
Rockets still hit Israel
Despite the IDF ground operation, Qassam crews in north Gaza fired two rockets at Israel in the early morning hours. A rocket that landed in kibbutz Nahal Oz damaged a building, and a second rocket hit an open area.
“The motivation of terror organizations is high right now, especially since over 100 gunmen were killed in the past three weeks in Gaza in IDF operations. We will continue until they rethink their actions and understand terror is not worthwhile,” the army said in a statement, after it was discovered that a rocket that hit north of Sderot yesterday was a 122-mm diameter Grad rocket,
a more sophisticated rocket than the ordinary Qassam.
The first time such a rocket was used was on Election Day in March, when the Russian-made rocket
hit south of Ashkelon. The IDF was examining the rocket fired Tuesday. IDF officials noted that terror organizations in Gaza were in possession of only a few dozen such rockets, some of which were upgraded in various methods.
Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report