IAF kills two Hamas operatives in Gaza

Airstrike brings Saturday's death toll to 6; 4 Kassam rockets land in w. Negev.

idf clean tank 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
idf clean tank 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
A weekend of violent clashes between the IDF and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip culminated in the death of two Hamas operatives, who were killed late Saturday night in an IAF missile strike on their car in the Gaza neighborhood of Saji'iya, Palestinian sources reported. Palestinians identified the two as Walid Kombuz and Khaled Abdallah. Hours earlier, another Hamas operative was killed in an IAF air strike in Gaza City. The army said that IAF aircraft had targeted a car carrying two men known to be involved in manufacturing weapons used against Israeli targets. On Saturday, two Palestinians were killed and four wounded by IDF fire in two separate incidents, Palestinian hospital doctors said. Meanwhile, four Kassam rockets landed in Sderot throughout Saturday, one of which scored a direct hit on an empty home. While no one was wounded, the home was seriously damaged. On Saturday morning, the IDF carried on with Operation "The Right Combination," launched last week to curb Kassam rocket attacks on the western Negev. Tanks fired from mounted machine guns toward a group of men near a housing project outside the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya, critically wounding three, doctors said. One died later of his wounds and was identified as an Islamic Jihad operative. IDF sources said there was a chance that the operation would escalate this week and that it would include the entire Givati Brigade and not just Battalion Tzabar, currently carrying out the operation. In the same area, the Hamas-run Al Aksa TV reported that IDF tank fire hit between its office and an adjacent kindergarten, sending TV employees and children running for cover. Sami Ayoub, an employee at the kindergarten, said no one was hurt and the 45 children were taken to safety. Gunfire could be heard on the Al Aksa broadcast. Later Saturday, IDF troops opened fire at a Kassam rocket squad on its way to fire rockets at the western Negev. The terrorists were hit by IDF fire but their condition was unknown. Overnight Friday, IDF Paratroopers and Shin Bet operatives commanded by Samaria Brigade Commander Col. Amir Baram, discovered a large explosives laboratory in Nablus, in the West Bank. Among the materials seized in the raid were sacks ready to be filled with explosives, 40 liters of acid, and a variety of explosives-rigged stuffed animals. The lab was destroyed in a controlled explosion. Overnight Friday, IDF troops and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) operatives uncovered a number of baby dolls filled with explosive charges in addition to suicide bomb belts during an raid on an explosives laboratory in Nablus. Earlier Friday, soldiers shot and killed a 10-year-old Palestinian in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalya, hospital officials said. In a separate incident, Palestinians fired an anti-tank missile towards IDF armored vehicles in northern Gaza. No one was wounded and no damage was caused. IDF troops returned fire. On Friday morning, three IDF soldiers were lightly wounded when their armored vehicle rode over an explosive device south of Beit Hanun, in the northern Gaza Strip. The two were evacuated to a hospital by an IDF helicopter. Moments earlier, IDF troops killed a Hamas operative who was filming the group's operations in the northern Gaza town of Jabalya, Palestinian medical officials said.