Gaza strike (Footage: Reuters)
The senior Jihad member killed was identified as Munir Abu Sukar. Another notable Jihad member, Iyad Abu Shaluf, was also killed in the attack. Palestinian sources said two passersby, identified as Ahmad al-Sawisi, 15, and Ra'ad al-Batash, 10, also died in the strike. Another 16-year-old boy later succumbed to his wounds and died.
According to the Palestinians, six people sustained wounds in the attack, most of them children. Palestinian sources said an Air Force drone fired a missile at a vehicle, causing it to explode.
Later, the army confirmed the Air Force was behind the attack.
Islamic Jihad members issued threats of "painful revenge" in Gaza mosques immediately following the Air Force strike.
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz later said "Israel will reach anyone trying to hurt citizens of the country." The minister instructed the defense establishment to operate against the entire Qassam rocket chain, ranging from those planning the attacks to those carrying them out.
The IDF said Abu Sukar was involved in the placement of explosive devices and directed the firing of Qassam rockets at Israeli targets. In recent days Palestinians boosted their rocket attacks, with the army noting security authorities are continuing to act against the Qassam fire, including through the use of assassinations.
Islamic Jihad in sights
Military sources said Israel will strike at terrorists whenever the opportunity arises, whether the terrorist in question is on his way to launching an attack or is planning one.
Vehicle hit by IDF (Photo: AFP)
IDF sources made it clear Israeli actions against terror groups in Gaza are undertaken cautiously and in a measured manner, but noted the hits on terrorists are showing results on the ground.
"Up until now, 70 terrorists were killed in the Gaza Strip in aerial and ground assaults, when they approached the security fence," one source said. "We're talking about a relatively large number of terrorists within a short period of time following the exit of IDF troops from the Strip."
"Even if the Qassam fire continues, Israel's actions have an impact on terror organizations, and this activity will continue, the source said.
The army added that the Islamic Jihad is attempting to boost its activity against Israel through the use of various means in the Gaza Strip.
"The organization will remain in our sights," a senior military figure said.
Ali Waked contributed to the story