Israeli Air Force jets struck several targets in central and southern Gaza Strip Thursday night, Palestinian sources reported. According to reports, three Palestinians were killed in a strike on smuggling tunnels near Rafah.
Reuters news agency reported that one of the Gazans killed in the strike was a 14-year-old boy.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit confirmed that IAF jets struck four terror targets in the Gaza Strip, including a tunnel used for smuggling terrorists into Israel in southern Gaza, two additional tunnels used to smuggle weapons, and a weapons factory in Gaza City.
According to the Palestinian report, the IAF struck targets in Gaza City and echoes of the explosions were heard throughout central Gaza.
Palestinian security forces in the Strip continued to search for casualties in the area around the tunnels that were hit, and estimate one more person is missing.
Evacuating one of the casualties (Photo: AFP)
Hamas, an Islamic militant group that rules Gaza, said an Israeli warplane bombed a building in Gaza City that witnesses said appeared to belong to the Islamic Jihad militant group.
Militants barred reporters from reaching the area.
Israel later fired two missiles at targets in Khan Younis, a town in southern Gaza, witnesses said. At least one of the missiles struck in an uninhabited area near a school, and there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Earlier Thursday, the IAF dropped thousands of flyers along the Gaza border, which according the Palestinians carried a warning not to come within 300 yards of the border fence. This was the first time the Air Force dropped such flyers since May 2009.
The strike followed a day of shelling on southern Israel: Around 7:45 am three mortar shell fired from northern Gaza landed near the Kerem Shalom crossing, with a fourth landing on its Palestinian side. A fifth mortar shell landed in Eshkol Regional Council limits.
Several hours later, a second salvo was fired at the western Negev, as Eshkol was hit by two more mortars. No injuries were reported.
Reuters contributed to this report