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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Senior Jihad man, 14 others die in IDF strikes

Ziad Abu Tir, fourteen people killed in strikes on northern Gaza; terror organizations prepare for ground incursion, vow to send out 'hundreds of car bombs and suicide bombers'. Over 60 rockets fired at Israel
Ali Waked
Latest Update:  12.29.08, 17:56 / Israel News
Gaza under fire: Palestinian source in the strip reported Monday evening of several IAF strikes across the strip.
Israeli Air Force fighter jets struck two targets in northern Gaza, both near the home of one of Hamas'  senior military wing operatives. News agencies reported that at least 20 people were killed and dozens were injured.
 Another strike in the Northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya hit the home of a senior member of the group's recruiting branch; and a third took out a truck carrying Grad rockets in the northern Gaza neighborhood of Jabalya. According to the IDF, the truck was either headed towards a hiding place or to launching pads.

According to the Palestinian, none of the Hamas operatives were in their homes during the strikes.

Eelier Monday, Ziad Abu-Tir (35) a senior member of the Islamic Jihad's military wing was among five people killed in an IAF strike in the Khan Younis area. His brother, nephew and two other people died in the attack as well. Five people were injured and the area sustained heavy damage.

A spokesman for the Islamic Jihad's military wing said that "this is another massacre and crime" and that Israel must wait for the organization's response.

A source in one of the organizations warned that gunmen in Gaza were well prepared for a ground offensive. "We'll kidnap soldiers, and it will equal all of this destruction," he told Ynet.
Meanwhile, the rocket fire continued Monday, with more than 60 rockets landing in southern Israel since the morning hours and one person killed in a construction site in the city of Ashkelon.

One of the rockets hit a house in Sderot, which was fortunately empty. Neighbors reported of complete devastation, as security forces evacuated the area fearing a gas leak. Several people suffered shock and were treated by Magen David Adom emergency services' paramedics.

'We still have ace up our sleeve'
The armed Palestinian organizations reported that they were completing their preparations for Israel's expected ground offensive. A Palestinian source told Ynet that "the Israeli side must wait for a united Strip under the ground and for hundreds of car bombs and hundreds of suicide bombers."
Another senior source in the groups said that all of the organizations were preparing to abduct soldiers. "If the kidnapping plan proves successful it will compare to all the destruction Israel had caused."
A Hamas source rejected the reports suggesting that the rocket fire at Ashdod, as well as the reports of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was hurt, are evident of the organization's distress. "We have sent messages that we can fire to longer distances that the Israelis are used to and that the Israeli soldier is held in the Strip," he said.
The source refused to elaborate on Shalit's condition.
According to Hamas, the rockets on Ashdod was fired from deep within the Strip and any launchings from its northern part would surely hit targets northerly in Israel, perhaps bringing them closer to central Israel.
"We have other aces up our sleeves and we will use them when the time and place are right," said the source; adding that while the number of Palestinian casualties' numbers in the hundreds, no more than 10 Hamas operatives have been killed.

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