Gaza: Air strikes kill 7 Palestinians

IAF says second strike thwarted suicide attack; 3 Kassams fired Saturday.

kassam attack 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
kassam attack 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Seven Palestinians, including a top Islamic Jihad commander, were killed Saturday in two IAF missile strikes on the Gaza Strip. The first strike was on a car traveling in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis. The IDF said that the air strike thwarted a planned suicide attack and that the car's occupants, including top terrorist Ziad Ranam, had been involved in a number of attacks against military outposts in the past, including the 2004 infiltration of a post in Gaza in which six soldiers were killed. According to Islamic Jihad spokesman Abu Ahmed, Ranam had been one of the group's top leaders in southern Gaza. "This will not affect Islamic Jihad," Abu Ahmed said. "We continue our path of resistance until martyrdom or victory." Islamic Jihad terrorists Muhammad Raei and Salah Quffa were also killed in the attack. Raei was responsible for killing five soldiers in 2004 after he fired an RPG at an armored personnel carrier along the Philadelphi Corridor. The IDF said that Quffa was in the midst of planning a car bomb attack against soldiers deployed along the Gaza security fence. He was also the head of the cell that infiltrated Israel near the Kissufim crossing last month with the goal of kidnapping an IDF soldier. Shortly after the missile strike, the IAF bombed a metal workshop in Gaza City. Three Aksa Martyrs Brigades operatives were killed in the strike. Another Palestinian who was severely injured in one of the attacks, died in the the hospital later Saturday night. A Kassam rocket fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip Saturday afternoon landed in Palestinian territory. Two others landed in Sderot in the evening, with one person lightly wounded. Late Friday, two Kassams were fired at the western Negev. One rocket landed close to a kibbutz factory, causing damage. The second hit a home, which also sustained damage. No casualties were reported in either attack.