IDF kills Gaza Islamic Jihad commander

3 more gunmen killed as 25 armored vehicles enter Khan Yunis; IDF describes maneuver as "pinpoint."

kassam damage 298 (photo credit: AP)
kassam damage 298
(photo credit: AP)
Troops from the elite Egoz unit killed an Islamic Jihad commander in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday night. The army said that he was one of the terror group's leaders in Gaza City, Israel Radio reported. In addition, three Palestinian gunmen were killed in clashes with IDF troops in central Gaza, Palestinians reported. Eyewitnesses said that about 25 armored vehicles entered Gaza through Kissufim Crossing. The soldiers arrested two Islamic Jihad terrorists and pulled out two hours after the incursion, they said. Defense officials said it was a "pinpoint" operation in Khan Yunis aimed at Gaza terrorists. The IDF confirmed that the operation was over. The witnesses said that during the clashes, IDF tanks fired shells and attack helicopters fired missiles. Palestinian medical officials also said a one-month-old baby girl was killed by a ricocheting bullet. Also, eight gunmen and three civilians were wounded, none of then seriously, the officials said. On Tuesday morning, two Palestinian gunmen were killed in two separate air strikes as the IAF targeted Gaza rocket launching cells, Palestinian sources reported. Four other operatives were wounded in the attacks, the sources said. The air strikes came moments after an elderly couple's Sderot home was heavily damaged by a rocket. Fortunately, the two were out of the city at the time. Despite claims by Palestinian sources that one member of the Kassam rocket squad killed in the air strikes was a Hamas member, the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. Days into the heavy Kassam rocket barrages that have pummeled the city since last Wednesday, the couple, Shlomo and Alice Gigi, both in their seventies, had on Sunday decided to take a vacation after refusing to do so for years. "They said 'how will it help us? In the end we'll go back to our reality," their son Motti told Army Radio. However, earlier this week the two were convinced to spend a few days at Motti's home in Givataim. Seven more Kassams fired from Gaza hit the western Negev Tuesday. One of the rockets struck the Ashkelon Beach region while the other hit an open area south of the city. The other rockets landed in open areas in the western Negev. No one was wounded and no damage was reported.