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(photo credit: AP [file])
At least four Palestinians were killed on Thursday in separate incidents in the Gaza Strip, as Defense Minister Amir Peretz ordered the IDF to impose a complete closure on Palestinian territories ahead of Rosh Hashana.
Forces crack down on terror funding
Peretz also ordered the IDF to open the Rafah border crossing in Gaza with Egypt for two days to alleviate the pressure caused by the buildup of Palestinians waiting in Egypt to return to their homes in Gaza.
Meanwhile Thursday, a Palestinian-fired Kassam rocket slammed into a classroom at the Sapir College in the western Negev. There were no injuries in the incident but damage was caused to the classroom. Three other Kassams were also fired at Israel, and one hit a house and damaged a support column, prompting the city to evacuate three families out of fear that the structure would collapse.
Following the morning Kassam attack, three Palestinians were killed in an IAF missile strike near the town of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip as they retrieved the launcher. Palestinian medics said the dead were local shepherds aged 14 to 16.
Also Thursday, Palestinians said a 35-year-old Palestinian woman was killed and six others were wounded during a raid by IDF Special Forces in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. Witnesses said commandos landed by helicopter, raided a house and exchanged fire with Hamas operatives. The IDF confirmed that soldiers were operating in Rafah and had killed an armed operative. Several other gunmen were arrested.
Palestinians have reported intensified IDF activity in southern Gaza in recent days. On Wednesday, troops arrested a senior Islamic Jihad operative along with six others. Palestinian sources identified the operative as Saleh Bahlul, 40. The sources said Bahlul received a phone call instructing him to go to an area near the Gaza security fence to collect money. He was then ambushed and arrested.