4 Palestinians killed in IDF strikes in Gaza

A day before Israeli and Palestinian leaders gather in Annapolis for the Middle East peace summit, four Palestinians were killed in two IDF strikes in the Gaza Strip on Monday. The IAF said it targeted rocket launching squads in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanun. According to Palestinian sources, at least two operatives were killed and three other Palestinians were wounded. In another incident, two armed Palestinians were killed near the Erez crossing after they attempted to lay explosive devices in the area. Also on Monday, IAF jets attacked two Palestinian gunmen near the northern Gaza Strip security fence. The IDF estimated that the two were attempting to lay explosive devices near the security fence. Three Kassam rockets and three mortars were fired into Israel throughout the day without causing any injuries. Defense officials said that while the IDF was aware of the sensitivity of its operations and the effect it could have on the Annapolis talks, there was a need to continue operating against terrorist infrastructures that pose an immediate threat to Israel. The defense establishment has been on a high alert since the beginning of the week out of fear that Hamas and Islamic Jihad will try to perpetrate a large-scale terror attack in an effort to derail the Annapolis talks.