Qassam-launching cell
Photo: AFP
IDF hits rocket-launcher in Gaza; Hamas men hurt in separate strike
IDF aircraft fires missile at ready-to-launch rocket in northern Gaza; two Palestinians hurt a short while later

IDF strikes in Gaza: An Air Force aircraft fired a missile at a ready-to-launch Qassam rocket in the northern Gaza Strip Saturday; the IDF later said that the missile hit its target.


Palestinian sources reported that the Qassam-launching cell had survived the strike by taking cover near an old IDF post. The sources added that the rocket about to be launched exploded before it could be fired.


At 9:30 pm Palestinian sources reported that a loud blast had been heard from the direction of Beit Hanoun, and that an IAF Apache chopper was seen near the town.


A short while later, Palestinian sources in Gaza said that two men were wounded in a separate strike, one of them critically. The IDF confirmed that an Air Force aircraft fired a missile at a terrorist preparing to launch a rocket at Israel from the northern Gaza Strip, and that a hit had been identified.


The Palestinians said that the two men hit by the IDF were apparently Hamas men, and that one of them had his leg severed.


The strikes were carried out Saturday evening following a rocket and mortar shell offensive directed at southern Israel by the Palestinians.


In response to the ongoing fire from Gaza, Defense Minister Ehud Barak ruled that Gaza Strip crossings to would remain closed Sunday.


Meanwhile, the Likud Party said that "the continuation of Qassam fire without retaliation is another result of the Livni and Kadima government's continuing weakness. Israel must take its security in its own hands and regain its power of deterrence."


Efrat Weiss contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 12.06.08, 22:57
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