Israel strikes Gaza sniper squad, killing two

Monday, June 18, 2012

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Air Force fired on what it called a terrorist squad of snipers operating near the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip.

Two Palestinian men were killed, and four others injured, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news service, which identified the men, in their 20s, as being members of Islamic Jihad’s military wing the Al-Quds Brigades and said that they were “en route to take part in a militant operation” against Israeli soldiers.

The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that the squad killed in Monday’s action is one of those responsible for recent sniper attacks along Israel’s security fence with Gaza, including one late last week in which snipers fired on an Israeli farmer working in his fields near Kibbutz Nir Oz in southern Israel.

Military sources said the incident is not related to Monday’s attack on the Israel-Egyptian border in which one civilian was killed and two terrorists shot dead.  

Overnight Sunday, Israel Air Force aircraft targeted and hit what the military said was a weapons manufacturing facility in the southern Gaza Strip, and a terror activity site in the central Gaza Strip. Five Palestinians including a woman and child were injured in the attacks.  

The sites were targeted in response to the rocket fire towards southern Israel, the IDF Spokesmans office said. So far this year over 275 rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip.