IDF shelling Kassam launch sites

3 fugitives arrested overnight; 2 terrorists wounded in air strike.

Palestinian car 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Palestinian car 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
The IDF arrested three fugitives overnight Friday in the West Bank. Two of the fugitives were identified as Hamas operatives, Israel Radio reported. In the Gaza Strip, IDF artillery continued on Saturday morning to shell Kassam rocket launch sites. On Friday, two Palestinian terrorists were reported wounded after the IAF shot at a car in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip in which terrorists were traveling on their way to launch Kassams towards Israel. The car was laden with large amounts of ammunition and explosives, which detonated after the car was hit. Another Palestinian, Abdel Morzi Abu Daf, was killed on Friday in Gaza while preparing an explosive device. Daf was considered one of Hamas's most prominent explosives instructors. In the past weeks there have been rockets launched out of Gaza towards Israeli towns in the western Negev and southern coastal region nearly every day, including one Kassam that was fired overnight Thursday. On Thursday Palestinian terrorists launched a series of five rockets, provoking a continuous Israeli response. IDF sources reveal that since its election to the Palestinian Legislative Council, Hamas has generally refrained from firing rockets. They noted that the Islamic Jihad, Fatah's al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades, and other resistance groups were responsible for most of the launches. Early Friday morning, the IDF fired upon a group of Palestinians who crossed the Gaza Strip security fence near Kibbutz Kissufim, killing two and wounding one of the infiltrators. The rest of the group was arrested and handed over to security officials in Israel for interrogation. In the meantime, the Karni crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel remained closed following explosions that were heard in the area earlier in the week. The IDF, in collaboration with Palestinian security forces, continued its searches for a tunnel used for smuggling or attack purposes, suspected to be located nearby. The IDF said that the troops in the area shot at an armed Palestinian who was on his way to lay an explosive device. After daybreak, both the gunman's body and the bomb he was about to lay were found. On Thursday, two IDF soldiers were wounded, one moderately, and six Palestinians were killed during fierce gun battles that erupted in Nablus during an IDF operation, called Operation Northern Lights, that has been in progress since last Saturday night. Four of the killed Palestinians belonged to Fatah's Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigades, including 33-year-old Muhammad Shtewi, who was implicated in numerous shooting incidents against Israeli soldiers. The IDF said the operation would continue until its objectives were met. Nine Palestinians were killed in total during the course of the mission, and dozens were wounded, Israel Radio reported. Thirty fugitives were apprehended and taken to interrogation. There were still a few wanted terrorists, mostly from the Fatah and Islamic Jihad, who were planning attacks for the near future against Israelis, whom security forces were still pursuing.