IAF strikes terrorist targets in Gaza

Three senior Al-Aksa operatives killed, five others wounded.

gaza airstrike 298 88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
gaza airstrike 298 88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
"Whoever tries to harm Israel will get hurt," OC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant warned terror groups Sunday morning. Galant said that, "Israel has many means at its disposal, and we won't hesitate to use them. He added that if that the Palestinians cause disturbances for Israeli citizens then the Palestinians would feel seven times that. His comments came following an IDF aircraft strike on at least five access roads, including a bridge near the town of Beit Hanoun, that led into northern Gaza early Sunday. According to the IDF, the roads were used to gain access to Kassam rocket-launching sites. Palestinian security officials and witnesses said that two missiles landed in an empty field near the border with Israel. Earlier Sunday, IDF aircraft and helicopters fired three missiles at a facility and a vehicle belonging to the Al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades in Gaza City, killing three people and wounding five others, Palestinian hospital officials said. The three dead in the first strike were senior Al-Aksa field operatives, the hospital said. Field operatives plan and carry out rocket attacks and other assaults on Israeli targets. Immediately following the strike on the facility, IDF helicopters fired at a car traveling on a small street between the Al-Aksa facility and Palestinian Preventive Security offices. The three Al-Aksa operatives were killed and one was wounded in the car, while the vehicle was left an unrecognizable heap of charred and twisted metal. Four additional wounded were security personnel guarding the Preventive Security headquarters near the Al-Aksa facility, the hospital said. The IDF said the strike was meant to deter rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, such as one that wounded an Israeli baby and two adults in Kibbutz Carmiya in the western Negev on Friday. After that attack, claimed by the Islamic Jihad terror organization, and another one Friday in which rockets landed near the city of Ashkelon, Israel also fired dozens of artillery rounds at northern Gaza and eastern Gaza City. According to the IDF, the Gaza City facility was "a training site" for planning attacks on Israeli targets, including "the launching of projectile rockets." Palestinians said the facility was an Al-Aksa sports club and sports training camp. Dozens of Al-Aksa members and supporters of the affiliated Fatah Party gathered outside the hospital after the airstrike, some firing rifles in the air outside the morgue. One Al-Aksa member, who identified himself as Abu Mujahed, accused Israel of carrying out a targeted killing of group operatives, a charge the IDF denied. "God willing, our rockets, our self-sacrificing martyrs and all the means of resistance will chase out the Zionists from every corner of our occupied land," Abu Mujahed said. "God willing, our revenge will come by deeds, and not by words."