The Israeli Air Force struck a vehicle carrying two Hamas operatives near the town of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip Thursday morning, local sources reported.
According to eyewitnesses, five schoolchildren who were walking nearby were wounded in the attack, as well as two Hamas members. The Palestinians said that an Israeli aircraft fired one missile at the vehicle and that the children have been moderately to seriously injured.
An IDF spokesman said that the strike targeted Muhammad Auda Khamdan Samiri, 25, a member of Hamas' military infrastructure that perpetrated the attack against an army patrol on Tuesday in which a soldier was killed.
According to the army, Samiri is also a member of the Global Jihad organization in the Gaza Strip and was involved in an attack that left two soldiers dead in March of last year.
Earlier Thursday a Qassam rocket landed near the town of Sderot, but no injuries or damage were reported. The attack took place several hours after Israeli fighter jets targeted a weapons production site in the Rafah area in response to the rocket fire on Israel Wednesday.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak will convene Thursday afternoon to discuss the Israeli response to the renewal of rocket fire from Gaza, and to the attack on an IDF patrol Tuesday that left one soldier dead.
Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that "It's clear that Hamas continues to cling to its fanatic mission to destroy Israel and to smuggle weapons through the tunnels."
In a speech at the Davos Economic Forum in Switzerland, Netanyahu added: "Sooner or later Israel would be forced to deal with this. We cannot allow our citizens to remain defenseless against the rocket fire