Three Palestinians were killed Sunday night by IDF troops operating in the Dahaniya neighborhood of southern Gaza.
Troops identified the gunmen approaching an outpost and opened fire. The army said explosive belts were found strapped to the bodies of two of the gunmen, indicating they had planned to carry out a suicide attack.
The military also said the gunmen belong to Hamas' military wing, the Izz el-Din el-Qassam Brigades.
Golani Brigade Commander Colonel Tamir Yadai said of the thwarted attack “initially two terrorists were spotted 150 meters (490 feet) east of the Dahaniya airport, and soldiers opened fire at them. Another terrorist located nearby was shot at a later stage, and the company commander noticed explosive belts on two of the terrorists.”
According to Yadai, IDF forces are continuing to move along the central Gaza road to control all movement from Gaza toward Egypt.
He said that part of the objective is to prevent the transfer of the kidnapped soldier (Gilad Shalit) to Egypt, adding that confrontations with terrorists are expected to increase as IDF forces move further into the Strip.
Since troops entered Gaza last Tuesday few incidents, including anti-tank missile attacks were registered. No one was injured and no damage was reported in the attacks.
Troops are positioned in open areas away from dense residential areas and are enjoying relative calm. But the longer their stay, attempts by terrorists to harm them rise.
Northern Gaza awaits ground offensive
Troops positioned near the northern Gaza border await orders to launch a ground incursion. It is may be that small troops are sent in to carry out operations and after that more troops will enter. Troops continued preparations for entering northern Gaza all day Sunday.
Speaking at a Friends of the IDF convention in Tel Aviv, the Defense Minister Amir Peretz said, “operation ‘Summer Rains’ in Gaza and the activity in the West Bank are aimed at bringing about the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, ending the attacks on Israeli communities near Gaza and stopping the raging terror.
“We have no intention of recapturing Gaza or of controlling Palestinian population,” he said. “We do not want our soldiers running around in refugee camp alleys between Gaza City and Rafah.