IAF strikes money-changing offices that funded terror

Two soldiers lightly wounded by shrapnel in attack on IDF post in Gaza; Five Kassams fired Wednesday as army continues anti-rocket ops.

iaf strike 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
iaf strike 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
The IAF bombed a money-changing office in Gaza late Wednesday night, as well as other businesses in the Gaza Strip responsible for transferring money to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. According to the IDF, the money-changers have transferred millions of dollars from Syria and Iran to the two groups in recent years. The money was used to finance anti-Israel terror activity, including the manufacture of Kassam rockets - 200 of which were fired over the past week-and-a-half. Just before the IAF attack, two IDF troops were very lightly wounded while stationed in the northern Gaza Strip.
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  • Analysis: Accuracy key to IAF's Gaza strikes The soldiers came under fire from Palestinian operatives while standing guard at an improvised army post and were hit by shrapnel. They received preliminary treatment at the scene and were then evacuated to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon. The IDF has been operating in Gaza since last week, targeting Kassam infrastructure and rocket-launching crews. Throughout the day on Wednesday, Palestinians fired five Kassam rockets into Israel. No casualties were reported in any of the attacks. Three rockets were fired late Wednesday evening. One landed near the outskirts of Ashkelon, a second landed in a Sderot neighborhood and the third landed outside of the town. About two hours later, a Kassam landed in a western Negev farm; a horse was reported to have been hit by shrapnel. On Wednesday morning, a Kassam rocket landed in an open western Negev field. The rocket attack occurred following IAF air strikes in Gaza City and the Jebalya refugee camp Tuesday overnight. The IDF said it targeted two ammunition depots in the strikes. According to Palestinian doctors, seven Palestinians were wounded in the IAF strikes, including a pregnant woman and child. The IDF said that secondary explosions occurred at one of the targets, proving that weapons and ammunition were stored there. In a new tactic, IDF troops accompanied by tanks also made a brief foray deeper into Gaza early Wednesday, searching several homes about half a mile from the border and briefly detaining seven Palestinians. Soldiers left behind handwritten notes warning that houses could be demolished if rockets are fired from the property. Earlier Tuesday night IAF helicopters fired at a Kassam launch cell in the northern Gaza Strip, hitting three members, Israel Radio reported. The army confirmed that the air force was shooting at Kassam launch sites in the area. Kassam fire from the Gaza Strip continued throughout Tuesday, with a total of nine rockets landing in and around the western Negev. Late Tuesday, three rockets were fired. Two landed in open territory in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council and one landed inside Gaza. No wounded or damage were reported from any of the hits. Earlier, two Kassams hit the western Negev. One landed in open territory near a kibbutz, wounding no one and causing no damge. The second struck a residential neighborhood in Sderot. No one was wounded, but a building and several cars were damaged, Channel 10 reported. In the afternoon, two rockets landed near Ashkelon's industrial area. There were no reports of wounded or damage. Also Tuesday, IAF strikes on Hamas training camps in Gaza wounded at least six, Palestinian security officials said. Hamas officials said that one of the air strikes destroyed a building used by its private militia in Gaza, known as the "Executive Force." The army confirmed the air strikes, saying it had targeted Hamas forces. Meanwhile, the IDF announced that the army and the Shin Bet arrested 20 Islamic Jihad operatives, including senior members, in Bethlehem overnight Monday. According to security forces, the organization was actively planning terror attacks. All the suspects were taken in for interrogation. Following Monday night's deadly rocket salvo in which 32-year-old Shirel Friedman was killed in Sderot when a rocket hit her car, the IAF carried out overnight air strikes on targets in Gaza. Aircraft fired missiles at a Hamas weapons warehouse and an operations room used by the Popular Resistance Committees for directing terror activity. There were no reports of casualties. Friedman was buried in Sderot at midday on Tuesday and the funeral was secured by a heavy police presence. Shortly after 8 p.m. Monday, five rockets were fired from Gaza and one struck Friedman's car near Sderot's commercial center. She died en route to hospital, becoming the first Israeli to die in a rocket attack since November. Two other people were wounded in the attack, one moderately and the other lightly, and were evacuated to Ashkelon's Barzilai Hospital.