War on terror in Gaza continues: A senior member of Islamic Jihad's armed wing was killed and a number of other Palestinians were wounded late Tuesday in four separate Israel Air Force strikes in Gaza, while an IDF soldier sustained moderate wounds after being shot by a Palestinian sniper in the northern Strip.
During the early hours of Wednesday morning four Hamas gunmen were killed during heavy exchanges of fire with IDF forces in central Gaza. The Israeli army said that troops entered the central Gaza Strip early Wednesday in a routine operation to target militants launching rockets.
The army spokesman says that troops exchanged fire with Hamas gunmen at several points, and identified hitting them.
At approximately 2 am a Givati Brigade force opened fire at a number of Palestinian gunmen in north Gaza and identified hits.
Earlier Palestinian sources in the Strip said that a senior member of Islamic Jihad's military wing, Abdullah al-Rasin, was killed and two others were wounded after an IDF aircraft fired at them in the Jabalya refugee camp. The three were walking on the street when they were attacked.
The IDF confirmed the strike and said that it was carried out in conjunction with the Shin Bet security service.
Night of strikes in Gaza (Photo: AFP)
Around midnight, Palestinian sources reported that one person was killed and several others were injured in another Air Force strike, this time in a Gaza City neighborhood. A few minutes later, the Palestinians reported another strike in the same area. A fourth strike was reported at around 12:40 am. The sources also reported that IDF tanks were advancing to the area.
Also Tuesday night, Gaza sources reported that the IDF attacked Palestinian lookouts in the northern Gaza Strip. According to initial reports, three Palestinians were hurt in the attack.
IDF soldier hurt
Meanwhile, the army reported that an IDF soldier sustained moderate wounds after being shot by a Palestinian sniper in Gaza. The soldier was taken to hospital by helicopter.
IDF troops have been operating near Khan Younis since morning hours and have detained several Palestinians who were subsequently taken in for interrogation. Palestinian groups, and mostly Hamas' military wing, fired mortar shells and automatic gunfire at the forces.
Palestinian detainee receives water from IDF forces (Photo: AP)
Hamas said its men blew up a tunnel near an IDF force and claimed that an RPG shell directly hit an Israeli force in one of the homes in the area. The IDF denied the report. During the day, a bullet hit a home in a kibbutz near the Gaza border – no injuries and slight damage were reported in the incident. The bullet was apparently fired during a shootout between the Palestinians and IDF forces.
Power outages in Gaza
The army said the current operation is relatively broad but noted that its scope is limited and that it is mostly defensive. Among other efforts, troops are aiming to curb sniper fire directed at a nearby kibbutz and detect tunnels dug in the area.
Meanwhile, neighborhoods in the western part of Gaza City and the northern Strip plunged into darkness Tuesday evening, after the Palestinian electrical company cut off the power supply due to a reported fuel shortage.
The electrical company is expected to initiate additional power interruptions in other neighborhoods across the Strip.
Tuesday morning, Givati and armored corps troops operated against terrorists in the central Gaza Strip. The soldiers fired at a Qassam rocket cell spotted in the area and hurt its members.
Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report