IDF Gaza raids kill six terrorists, wound eight

At least 7 Kassams, mortar shells fired toward w. Negev; PRC: Real rocket barrage hasn't yet begun.

Gaza airstrike 298 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
Gaza airstrike 298 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
The IDF killed six terrorists in the Gaza Strip in two separate incidents Saturday. In the early morning hours, an IAF air strike killed five Hamas gunmen and wounded at least eight others near the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis. The IDF said it launched the strike after identifying armed men near the Gaza security fence. Hamas officials said that the men killed had been on a "night patrol" and that they were members of their military wing. Also according to Hamas, many of the wounded belonged to the Popular Resistance Committees. Later that day, one Palestinian gunman was killed and three were wounded in an exchange of fire with IDF troops in the northern Gaza Strip. The IDF said that in the early afternoon, Palestinian gunmen opened fire at soldiers patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence. The soldiers returned fire, said the army, adding that there were no casualties among the troops. Between the two major incidents, an IDF patrol near the border fence in the Kissufim area came under fire from a Palestinian anti-tank weapon. No wounded or damage were reported in that attack. During the weekend at least seven rockets and mortar shells were launched from Gaza toward Israeli communities in the western Negev. While none of the rockets caused any damage or casualties, a spokesman for the PRC warned that these attacks were merely a prelude. "The real barrage of rockets has not yet begun," said PRC spokesman Abu Mujahid, who vowed his group would develop rockets with a longer range, to hit more Israeli towns. "Twenty-two kilometers is not the ceiling," he said, referring to the current range of the homemade salvos fired from Gaza into nearby neighboring towns such as Sderot. On Friday afternoon, alert Border Police troops at the Hawarah checkpoint south of Nablus intercepted two Palestinian youths carrying three bombs. A Border Police sapper detonated the explosives without incident, and the youths were detained for interrogation. Less than a day later, IDF units operating in the same area arrested two wanted Palestinians. The troops came under fire during the operation, but sustained no casualties or damage as they arrested the two, who were brought in to be questioned by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, on Saturday night condemned the "dangerous" escalation in Gaza and called on the Israeli government to bring it to a halt. "The escalation causes the situation to deteriorate when serious efforts are being made to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians," Rudaineh told reporters in Riyadh. Rudaineh made the comments after a meeting between Abbas and Saudi King Abdullah on the results of the Annapolis conference.