Soldier lighlty wounded in mortar attack

12-year-old Palestinian stone thrower seriously wounded in Jenin.

idf artillery 298 ap (photo credit: AP)
idf artillery 298 ap
(photo credit: AP)
A mortar shell landed Thursday afternoon at an army base near the Gaza Strip. One soldier was lightly wounded. Also on Thursday, IDF soldiers surrounded a house in the West Bank city of Jenin where an Islamic Jihad fugitive, Husam Jarradat, was reportedly holed up. The IDF confirmed that forces were operating in Jenin but refused to elaborate. Earlier in the day Palestinian hospital officials claimed that IDF troops shot 12-year-old Ahmed Ismail Khatib, who had thrown stones at soldiers patrolling in the city. The army told Israel Radio that the boy was wounded in an exchange of fire with armed Palestinians, in which IDF vehicles sustained damage. The soldiers shot at what appeared to be an armed combatant, only to discover that the victim was a boy carrying a toy gun. Khatib was brought to Rambam Hospital, where he was listed to be seriously wounded, despite initial Palestinian reports that he had been killed. Meanwhile, Hamas operatives who had vowed not to renew an informal truce with Israel backed off on Thursday, saying they would extend it if Israel "stops its aggression" and releases Palestinian prisoners. On Wednesday evening, one civilian was lightly wounded and five others treated for shock when a mortar shell exploded after striking a house in Netiv Ha'asara, a moshav located near the northern Gaza border. One of the two mortar shells hit the home of Nitzan Dafna in the moshav. Dafna sustained facial wounds from the shrapnel while in his car with his two-year-old daughter. He was rushed to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon. Dafna told Israel Radio Thursday morning that as he parked his car, he saw a flash of light and felt a serious blow to his face. He then hurried to the back to take his daughter from her car seat and bring her safely home when he noticed he was bleeding from his mouth and that his shirt was stained with blood. The shell also damaged a vehicle as well as electric power lines, causing a power cut in the community. Shortly afterwards, a second shell landed inside the community, causing no injuries. IDF artillery units shelled the areas in northern Gaza from where the mortar shells were fired. Early Wednesday St.-Sgt. Yonathan Evron, 20, of Rishon Lezion was killed in Marka near Jenin during an operation to arrest a senior Hamas fugitive involved in the Hadera suicide bombing .