Palestinians: IAF kills 4 Hamas men

In earlier air strikes, 2 Islamic Jihad operatives, PRC leader reported dead; 45 Kassams hit Israel.

sderot kassam 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
sderot kassam 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Four Hamas gunman were killed on Thursday night in an IAF strike in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinians reported. In an earlier air strike in northern Gaza, Palestinians said two Islamic Jihad operatives and a passerby were killed. Also Thursday, a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees was killed along with his wife when the IAF targeted his car as they traveled in Gaza'a Beit Lahiya neighborhood. Two other people were wounded in the attack. Meanwhile, a Sderot woman was lightly wounded by shrapnel and several other people suffered shock as some 45 Kassam rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into the western Negev. Two of the rockets landed within 300 meters of each other in a residential neighborhood of Sderot, another hit the yard of a Sderot home, yet another fell in the town's industrial zone and a fifth hit a major intersection in the area. The other rockets landed in open areas around the western Negev town. There were reports of property damage. According to Noam Bedein of the Sderot Media Center, at least four people were treated for shock. The Sderot Municipality decided not to cancel studies on Thursday and the rockets were fired just as children were making their way to school. A number of Israeli officials voiced optimism that IDF action in the Gaza Strip would put an end to the rocket fire. In Moscow, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called the ongoing operations an "uncompromising war" on terror, and vowed that the situation in Gaza "must change." Her comments echoed a similar statement made earlier Thursday by Vice Premier Haim Ramon. "We already see a pretty major weakening within Hamas; a wish on their part to arrive at a cease fire," Ramon told Army Radio. "The easiest way to bring quiet to the Negev and Sderot will be if Hamas hold their fire." A senior Hamas official was quoted by Israel Radio as saying overnight Wednesday that Ismail Haniyeh's Hamas government would attempt to bring a halt to Kassam rocket fire and other terror attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip. Nevertheless, defense officials warned that Palestinian snipers would increase their efforts to shoot at farmers in the western Negev, Channel 10 reported. The warning comes two days after an Ecuadorian volunteer in Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper.