7 wounded in 3 IAF strikes in Gaza

2 children hurt as rocket lands near kindergarten in Kibbutz Be'eri; Sderot home damaged.

Kassam kibbutz 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Kassam kibbutz 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Seven Palestinians were wounded Wednesday night in three IAF strikes in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources reported. Four of the casualties were reportedly Hamas operatives, one was a female civilian and the other two were a woman and her son, Palestinians said. The air strikes came after two young children, aged twelve and two, were lightly wounded when a Kassam rocket landed near a playground in Kibbutz Be'eri, in the western Negev. The two kids, who were playing outside their home, were evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba suffering from shrapnel wounds. Their mother was sent into shock as a result of the attack. Hamas claimed responsibility for the rocket fire. Moments later, a Sderot home was damaged when it was hit by a rocket fired from Gaza. No one was wounded but several people were sent into shock. Another rocket fired in Wednesday evening's attack landed in an open area. Earlier, six Kassams were fired into Israel, all landing in open areas and causing no casualties or damage. Also Wednesday, the IAF struck a rocket launching cell in Gaza, the army said. Hamas said that four of its men were moderately wounded in the attack. Government spokesman Mark Regev said that Israel would keep hitting back at the rocket launching squads. "These rockets are being fired indiscriminately into civilian population centers. We are obliged as a government to take the necessary steps to protect our people and we will continue to do so," said Regev. "Those extremists shooting rockets are a legitimate target and we will act surgically to strike against hardcore terrorist cells." Vice Premier Haim Ramon echoed similar sentiments. "We need to understand there is a war in the south," Ramon told Israel Radio. "The war against Hamas has to be fought on all fronts." On Wednesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the terrorists' rocket fire, but urged Israel to let supplies into Gaza. "These rockets that are being fired at Israel must stop. It's pointless," he said at a news conference with Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik. "At the same time, Israel should not use these rockets as a pretext for collective punishment on Palestinians in Gaza. Israel must always allow humanitarian supplies and other needs to be provided to Gaza."