Hamas gunmen operating in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday executed a well-planned ambush that left three Israeli soldiers dead and two others wounded.
The soldiers had been patrolling the Gaza security fence when they spotted several armed gunmen approaching the de facto border. Fearing an infiltration attempt, the soldiers cross into Gaza to engage the gunmen, but came under intense fire from additional gunmen who had been hiding at various points surrounding the area.
The ensuing battle lasted most of the morning, and also resulted in the deaths of at least seven Palestinian terrorists who were the target of a pinpoint Israeli aerial strike. Palestinian sources claimed that at least two children were also killed in the strike as a result of the terrorists using the local civilian population as a shield against retribution.
Also on Wednesday, Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists fired 19 rockets at communities in southern Israel.
Most of the rockets landed in open areas, but at least one slammed into a neighborhood in a small village and damaged several homes. Another rocket landed in the industrial zone of the hard-hit southern town of Sderot. There were no injuries in the attacks.
In other terror-related news, Israelis were warned this week to avoid traveling to the Sinai Peninsula over the Passover holiday due to concrete intelligence that a terrorist cell operating there intends to harm or abduct Jews.
Despite the warning, several hundred Israelis are believed to be in the Sinai at present, and their numbers are expected to grow with the start of the week-long Passover holiday.