Five Palestinians killed in second day of strikes

Kassam rocket hits empty kindergarten in Sderot

Five Palestinians, including two children, were killed in two separate IAF air strikes on Kassam launch squads in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. In the first attack, three Islamic Jihad operatives were killed while traveling in a car near Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, not far from the Kissufim crossing. In response, Palestinian terrorists fired two Kassam rockets at Sderot. There were no casualties, but one of them hit an empty kindergarten. The IDF said the three terrorists were members of a squad that was responsible for several recent shooting attacks against soldiers near the Gaza security fence. Golani troops arrived at the scene and found the terrorists' Kalashnikov rifles. Later in the day, two Palestinians, identified by Gaza doctors as children ages 10 and 12, were killed in the northern Gaza Strip. The IDF said the air strike targeted Palestinians who were loading a Kassam onto a rocket launcher and that terrorists were hit. Palestinian rocket teams have been known to send young children to retrieve rocket launchers after the projectiles are fired, the IDF said in a statement, adding: "In light of the reports, it seems likely that this was the case here." On Monday, six Hamas operatives were killed in an IDF strike. Overnight Monday, soldiers shot and killed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine operative Nasser Mabrouk in Nablus's Askar refugee camp. During the operation, IDF sappers defused a bomb and Palestinians hurled two grenades at soldiers. There were no casualties and no damage was reported. Meanwhile Tuesday, fearing an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, the IDF transferred 110,000 veterinarian vaccinations to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank after a number of Palestinian animals were found to be infected. The IDF's West Bank Coordination and Liaison Administration transferred the vaccinations Tuesday morning after the chief PA veterinarian informed his Israeli counterparts that his office was short of close to 700,000 vaccinations. AP contributed to this report.