The Israel Defense Forces completed its operation in Beit Hanoun, but sources in the Gaza Strip reported that six Palestinians were killed in two different incidents in the northern Strip Tuesday morning. IDF officials said three people have been hit.
Two gunmen, members of the al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad's military wing, were killed in the Beit Lahiya area. The two, aged 22 and 24, residents of the Jabalya refugee camp, were killed after a battle with soldiers from an elite IDF unit. One of the two is the son of Khaled al-Batash, an Islamic Jihad leader.
Meanwhile, the sources in the Strip reported that three Palestinians were killed after an IDF shell hit the home of Hamas lawmaker Jamila Shanti. Shanti's sister-in-law was killed, as well as another two people, including Mahmoud Abu-Khabel, a prominent member of Hamas' military wing.
Another gunman was killed and later died of his wounds. The Palestinians claimed that the gunmen did not initiate the fire.
The IDF left Beit Hanoun early Tuesday after completing Operation Autumn Clouds. Fifty-seven Palestinians were killed during the operation. Staff Sgt. Kerell Golenshin was killed in duty in Beit Hanoun.
On Monday night, the Palestinians reported that the forces were moving out of the northern Strip town.
The operation, one of largest campaigns launched by the IDF since the terror attack near Kerem Shalom in which Corporal Gilad Shalit was kidnapped and two soldiers were killed, was defined as a broad operation aimed at "clearing" the town of terror activists and weapon centers.
The operation was mainly aimed at the Qassam alignment – production, transportation and launching cells. During the operation, the IDF scanned the Beit Hanoun area and located gunmen and weapons.
The IDF Spokesperson's Office reported that Qassam launchers, Kalashnikov rifles, grenades, explosive devices and night vision equipment. The IDF attacked nine Qassam cells, some of them responsible for producing the rockets. Five rocket launchers ready to be activated were destroyed in one of the strikes.
During the operation, about 2,000 Palestinians were questioned and dozens were transferred into Israel for a continued interrogation. IDF officials estimated that the information received may shed light on other terror infrastructures in the northern Strip.
Army officials also noted that in spite of the activity taking place in buildings and populated areas, the forces attempted not to hurt civilians, and the number of civilians hurt during the operation totaled less than 10 percent.
Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report