Gaza operation goes on

Sunday, November 05, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Since the beginning of Operation Autumn Clouds last Wednesday aimed at targeting the Kassam manufacturing, logistics, and launching capabilities of the terror groups in northern Gaza, 47 Palestinians were reported killed, with only few civilian casualties.

Of the number killed, 11 terrorists were killed on Saturday and one more reported so far on Sunday. According to the Israel Defense Forces, only three of those killed during the fighting were civilians. An IDF senior officer said that Palestinians were purposely inflating the number of civilians killed by IDF fire.

The IDF is also reporting that in overnight activities, air strikes by the Israel Air Force hit Kassam rocket launchers in the area, as well as armed gunmen who were identified in the vicinity of the forces operating on the ground.

Other overnight activities included house searches which revealed a weapons cache of AK-47 assault rifles, explosives and grenades. The two occupants of the house where the weapons were discovered were arrested and taken for questioning. Discoveries in homes included explosive devices, grenades, a protective vest, and IDF uniforms.

In one firefight between IDF forces and armed gunmen, an Israeli soldier was seriously wounded after an explosive charge blew up near the forces operating in the city of Beit Hanun. The soldier was transferred to Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva, and is said to be in stable condition.

Despite the successes of the fighting on the ground, seven Kassam rockets were launched on Saturday, and two more on Sunday, most of them landing in open fields in the western Negev, one in a Kibbutz, causing minor damage to a home, and one landing near the open-air market in Sderot. No serious injuries or damage were reported from those attacks.

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