Gaza strike
Photo: AP
Under Fire
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov

IAF targets terror cells in Gaza

Situation in south escalates as rocket salvo hits Eshkol Regional Council. Air force strikes terror cells; Palestinians report several fatalities

Israel Air Force jets targeted two terror cells firing mortar shells at Israel from within a southern Gaza neighborhood Friday.


Palestinian sources reported that a 45-years-old woman, her 20-year-old daughter and a 55-years-old man were killed in the strike, which apparently took place near Khan Younis.


The IDF said that Hamas is choosing to operate amid civilian population, using Gazans as human shields.


Palestinian sources further reported that Israeli fighter jets targeted smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border. It appears a gas line running through one of the tunnels was hit, causing a raging fire.


The strike followed the a rocket salvo consisting of a dozen mortar shells, fired from northern Gaza landed in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries were reported; one of the council's communities suffered some property and infrastructural damage. Gaza Division Chief Brigadier-General Brigadier General Yossi Bachar has reportedly arrived at the scene.


Friday's salvo was the first mortar fire since the Palestinian terror groups declared a unilateral ceasefire, Thursday.


Following the fire and by military instructions, the Eshkol Regional Council ordered evacuation of 450 schoolchildren at the 'Nitzanei Eshkol' school. The children were evacuated gradually with a security forces escort.


Earlier Friday, Israel Air Force fighter jets shelled a location east of the Gaza city of Khan Yunis, believed to be a terror hub, while tanks fired at suspected terrorist locations. The military confirmed hitting its target.


Palestinian sources reported that two people were killed and three others injured in the air strike. The three are believed to be members of a Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades cell.


The IDF's action followed Thursday heavy rocket salvo on southern Israel: over 45 rockets were fired from the Strip into Israel throughout the day, as well as an anti-tank missile attack on an Israeli school bus that left a teenager critically wounded.


Thursday night saw Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip declared a ceasefire, in an apparent attempt to prevent harsh IDF retaliation.


Hanan Greenberg and Elior Levy contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 04.08.11, 13:09
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