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IDF hits Gaza targets as 55 rockets pound Israel
By YAAKOV KATZ AND YAAKOV LAPPIN
06/20/2012
Top Global Jihad operative seriously injured, said to have been planning new Sinai attack; Egypt calls for ceasefire.
 
Rockets rained down on the South on Wednesday as the IDF struck back at Hamas and global jihad targets in the Gaza Strip despite Egyptian calls for an immediate cease-fire.

In the third day of violence, the air force bombed a motorbike in southern Gaza and seriously wounded Muhammad Rashdan, who the IDF said was a member of a Gaza-based global jihad group and one of the planners of the deadly attack along the Egyptian border on Monday.

Aleb Armilat, who assisted Rashdan in planning that attack, was killed in the strike.

In the evening, the IAF hit two more targets in Gaza, which it said were Hamas training camps. The Palestinians said that two teenagers were wounded in the strikes.

In another strike, a 14-yearold boy was reportedly killed as the IAF bombed what it said was a rocket-launching cell in the northern Gaza Strip.

The teenager was identified as Momen al-Adam. Two other people were reportedly wounded in the attack. The air strikes on Wednesday followed eight IAF bombings late Tuesday night throughout the Gaza Strip.

IDF sources said that Rashdan was in the midst of planning another attack against Israel from Sinai and that he was one of the key architects of Monday’s attack. One officer said that the involvement of global jihad operatives in attacks against Israel was not surprising, but was of concern since the groups did not heed Hamas’s authority and would be difficult to rein in to abide by any cease-fire.

Some of the groups are made up of former Islamic Jihad and Hamas members.

Others, the officer said, come from Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

In a sign that the violence was expected to continue on Thursday, the Home Front Command issued instructions to the public banning studies in schools that are not reinforced and are located within seven kilometers of the Gaza Strip. It also banned public gatherings – indoors or outdoors – of more than 500 people. The instructions are in effect until Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, Gazan terrorists fired 55 rockets into southern Israel throughout Wednesday, damaging homes and sending eight civilians into shock. One rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome counter-rocket defense system on its way to Netivot.

The IDF said that its three operational Iron Dome batteries were deployed in the South.

Police bomb squad officials said 30 rockets slammed into the Negev region, while a further nine struck the Lachish region. Gazans have fired nearly 100 rockets into Israel since Monday.

A wave of rockets was fired at the Sdot Negev region, with a projectile exploding in the front yard of a home.

Shrapnel damaged the home; its residents took cover in a safe room before the impact. There were no injuries in that attack.

Earlier, six Palestinian rockets exploded in the Eshkol region, with four of them falling inside a village. The projectiles sparked a blaze, and sent three women into shock.

On Wednesday morning, terrorists fired a long-range Grad rocket in Beersheba’s direction. It fell in the Bnei Shimon region, setting off air raid sirens but failing to cause injuries.

Eight rockets hit farming regions overnight, damaging buildings in Lachish.
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