IAF kills Schalit kidnapper in Gaza

Air strike targets car carrying three Hamas members; 12 Kassam rockets land in western Negev.

gaza airstrike 224.88 (photo credit: Associated Press)
gaza airstrike 224.88
(photo credit: Associated Press)
A Hamas terrorist involved in the capture of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit was killed Thursday in an IAF strike in southern Gaza, the army announced. Hamas confirmed that a "leading commander" was killed in the strike, and its military wing vowed to avenge the death of Nafez Manzur. "The blood of our late commander will not be shed in vain," the statement read. "We have the full right to respond in the time and place that we see fit." Meanwhile throughout the day, 12 Kassam rockets were fired from Gaza into the western Negev area. Separate rockets that landed in Sderot hit Sapir College, a house, a grocery store and a sports field, the army said. Five people were treated for shock but there were no serious injuries. Hamas said the IAF strike targeted a car carrying three of its members. It said the first missile missed the vehicle, and one of the terrorists escaped unharmed. Another man was reported wounded by the group. Palestinian health officials said one man was killed, while a second man and a female passerby were lightly wounded. Islamic Jihad initially misidentified the dead man as one of its members because of confusion with names. The army stated that in addition to the June 2006 cross-border raid in which Schalit was captured, Manzur was also a member of the terror cell that executed the car bombing attack at the Kerem Shalom border crossing before Pessah. He was also involved in planning numerous attacks by Hamas and in firing rockets at Israel, the army added. Meanwhile, Palestinian gunmen opened fire toward Givati Brigade and Armored Corps forces operating outside Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip. The troops were also attacked with anti-tank missiles and mortar shells. No one was wounded and no damage was reported.