IDF troops kill six Gaza gunmen

20 Kassams strike western Negev, two hit heart of Sderot; 10 mortar shells also fired from Strip.

Kassam in mud 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Kassam in mud 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Some 20 Kassam rockets hit the western Negev on Thursday while five Hamas operatives and an Islamic Jihad member were killed in IDF ground operations in the northern Gaza Strip. Troops accompanied by tanks, military tractors, and IAF gunships, operated in Jabalya and Beit Hanun until late Thursday morning. The IDF said that it targeted a rocket launching squad but Hamas said one of its security posts was hit. Palestinian sources also claimed that the IDF killed a teacher during the operations. Hamas security forces said that the teacher died and two other staffers were hurt when an Israeli surface-to-surface missile struck an agricultural school in Beit Hanun. The group released no further details and school officials weren't immediately available for comment. However, the IDF said that it had fired in the area at a group of rocket launchers. "We definitely did not fire at a school," an army spokeswoman said, adding that the military was looking into the report. Meanwhile, two of the Kassam rockets fired from Gaza Thursday morning landed in the heart of Sderot. One hit a garage adjacent to a house, causing a fire and sending three people into shock. The other rocket caused no damage. Two Kassams landed near a college in the Eshkol region. No one was wounded and no damage was reported. The other rockets all hit open areas. Palestinian terrorists also fired some 10 mortar shells from the Strip. No one was wounded and no damage was reported. Overnight Wednesday, IDF troops arrested 17 Palestinian fugitives during operations in the West Bank. One fugitive was nabbed in Tulkarm, another in Nablus and seven others in Jenin. Additionally, three fugitives were apprehended in Bethlehem and five others in Hebron.