Palestinians: IAF kills 2 in Gaza

100 Palestinians reportedly killed since Wednesday; soldiers killed Saturday laid to rest.

Haniyeh office 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Haniyeh office 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Two Palestinians were killed and two were wounded Sunday in an IAF strike in the northern Gaza town of Jabalya, Palestinian sources reported. According to the reports, 10 Palestinians have been killed in IDF operations since midnight and 100 since Wednesday. Overnight Saturday, the IAF sent three missiles slamming into the empty office building in Gaza City used by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. The building was razed to the ground and five people were lightly wounded, according to Palestinian sources. The IDF confirmed that Haniyeh's office had been hit as well as about seven weapons labs and arms depots in northern Gaza. The army said one Hamas gunman was killed in the raids, while Palestinians reported five dead. Hamas issued a statement following the attack on Haniyeh's office, saying that Israel had "crossed the red line." Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Sunday that the IDF operation against Gaza rocket squads would escalate, and that a broad ground operation was "real and tangible." "We are not happy about it, we won't shy from it," Barak told Israel Radio. "There are many considerations about the timing," he said, without elaborating. Barak made the comments prior to convening an urgent meeting of security chiefs in Tel Aviv to consider the IDF's response to the escalation of rocket attacks and violence in Gaza. Among those attending the meeting were Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin and OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin. As IDF troops entered the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday, two soldiers and 54 Palestinians were killed, at least half of them gunmen. It was the deadliest day in the territory since Hamas seized power there last June. Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired over 50 rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israel, in defiance of the IDF assault. Six Israelis were wounded, all but one of them lightly, in rocket fire that reached as far north as Ashkelon, 17 km. from Gaza. Palestinians reported that at least two dozen civilians, including a baby, were among those killed in Saturday's operation and terror organizations said 25 fighters died. Health officials said about 200 people were wounded, 14 of them critically. In all, about 80 Palestinians, half of them civilians, have been killed since fighting flared on Wednesday, according to Palestinian sources. The two IDF soldiers killed in Saturday's fighting were identified as St.-Sgt. Doron Asulin, 20, of Beersheba, and St.- Sgt. Eran Dan-Gur, 20, of Jerusalem. They lost their lives as their Givati Brigade units operated against terrorists in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip. Asulin served in the brigade's anti-tank company and Dan-Gur served in the Shaked Battalion. They were brought to rest on Sunday afternoon.