A Kassam rocket scored a direct hit on a house in Sderot Wednesday evening, causing damage but no casualties. Earlier, as the security cabinet decided in its weekly meeting to maintain its current policy in Gaza of targeted assassinations against Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, a Kassam rocket hit a house in Sderot. None of the occupants were at home at the time of the attack, and therefore no one was wounded by the rocket, which hit the building's second floor. Four Kassams have been fired at Israel since Wednesday morning. The cabinet also approved ground incursions in Gaza as far as residential areas.
Sderot envoys prepare for PR in Europe
The decision came after late Tuesday night, two Palestinian operatives were killed in an IAF airstrike on a rocket-launching crew, Palestinian security officials said.
Hamas radio said the two dead belonged to its military wing.
The IDF said it had attacked a group of armed men in the area of the Jebalya refugee camp, but gave no further details.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has limited his public appearances because he fears being targeted for assassination by Israel, his spokesman said Tuesday.
"He is frightened by the Israeli forces," Ghazi Hamad told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "He's scared of being assassinated ... so he is taking precautions."
Haniyeh has kept a low profile in recent weeks since Israel resumed a campaign of airstrikes against Palestinian rocket squads and other Hamas targets in Gaza.
Over the weekend an IAF missile landed close to Haniyeh's home. Israel denied he was a target.
But Hamad, on a visit to Britain before heading to Cairo to take part in talks between Hamas and its moderate rival Fatah, said the Hamas leadership felt unsafe after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's comments on Sunday that "no one is immune."
"We don't trust Israel," he said.
Hamad said Hamas was open to agreeing a "comprehensive" cease-fire with Israel if it stops military operations in Gaza and the West Bank.
"If Israel accepted a comprehensive cease-fire, people will stop firing rockets," he said.
The spokesman said that the Cairo talks with Fatah would be crucial in determining whether peace can take hold, after a truce was reached over a week ago to stop fierce factional fighting between the two Palestinian groups. Hamas and Fatah sit together in the Palestinian coalition government, but relations are tense following the recent bloodshed.
Meanwhile, IDF soldiers shot a Palestinian gunman on Tuesday night high during an operation in the West Bank town of Tulkarm. The condition of the Palestinian was unknown.
The IDF said that the troops returned fire after being shot at.
Palestinian sources reported that the soldiers were surrounding a house in the West Bank town in which an Aksa Martyrs' Brigade's operative was hiding.
Earlier Tuesday, two Aksa Martyrs' Brigades operatives were killed by IDF troops.
Muhammad Mare'i, who announced setting up a new Fatah military wing several days ago, was shot to death in Kafr Dan, near Jenin.
Another operative, who Palestinians identified as former Force 17 member Omar Abed El-Halim, was killed in an IDF operation in Ramallah.
Earlier, Palestinian sources said that in IDF operations throughout the day four Fatah affiliated operatives were wounded and another one was arrested.