Palestinians: IAF kills Hamas man

11 reported wounded as air force responds to Kassam attacks by hitting several targets in Gaza.

Gaza strike 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Gaza strike 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
The night after a Kassam rocket attack wounded two young brothers, the IAF hit back with a series of air strikes across the Gaza Strip overnight Saturday. Palestinians reported that a Hamas operative was killed in one of the attacks. The IDF said that fighter jets struck three Hamas targets in the Strip, including a Hamas post in Khan Yunis, an arms factory in Gaza City and a weapons storage facility in Rafah. The army also said that a joint IDF-Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) operation in southern Gaza targeted a Hamas operative who was involved in weapons smuggling. According to the Palestinian reports, Israeli aircraft fired a missile at a group of gunmen from Hamas's armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, in the Rafah area. They said that the target of the air strike was a Hamas lookout and they identified the dead gunman as Mohammad Matar. They also said that the IAF struck a Hamas post in Khan Yunis, the home of a senior Hamas activist in southern Gaza and a building in Gaza City. 11 people were reported wounded. Meanwhile, as pressure mounted in Israel for a large-scale IDF operation in the Gaza Strip in response to Kassam rocket fire, Hamas on Sunday downplayed talk of such an incursion. Senior Hamas officials said that Israel wanted to avoid a "Winograd II" and that the losses the IDF was likely to suffer in such an invasion as well as the reactions of Arab states and the international community would deter a major assault. They said Hamas was unmoved by such threats, which were "for Israeli ears only." In response to a proposal by Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit to make an example out of a Gaza neighborhood and wipe it out, Ahmad Youssef, senior advisor to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, said that the "approach of power and military might" had been used for dozens of years without any success, Israel Radio reported. Meanwhile, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said recent threats to go after Hamas leaders wouldn't sway the Islamic group from "getting rid of the occupation." "Hamas leaders are ready to sacrifice themselves for Palestine and for the Palestinian people's freedom," Barhoum said. "Such threats won't shake or affect their determination and quest for freedom." AP contributed to this report