Mortar Shell Severely Wounds Soldier; Operation Continues

Matan Hakimi: IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson
Date: 08/01/2009, 8:45 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

An IDF (Zahal) soldier was severely wounded and another soldier was moderately wounded on Thursday afternoon (Jan. 8) by a mortar shell hitting in the area of the Eshkol Regional Council. Five additional soldiers were lightly wounded. The soldiers received initial medical treatment on the scene and were evacuated to hospital for further medical treatment. The bereaved families have been notified.

Earlier during the day, IDF (Zahal) forces operating in the northern Gaza Strip this morning (Jan. 8), targeted three Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives who fired rockets on to Ashdod, Ashkelon and Sderot during the cease fire period and over the last few days. The IDF (Zahal) operation was precise and in conjunction with the ISA, and during the procedure Nasser Halil Hassan Ouda, 21, Muhammad Faez Yadeb Hanedi, 24 Anwar Abed al-Hafiz Abu Salem, 23, were hit. The three terror operatives, as mentioned, fired rockets on to southern Israeli cities.

Over course of the ground operation in the northern Gaza Strip, IDF (Zahal) forces hit additional armed terrorists on several incidents. The IAF, the IN and the Artillery Corps also took part in the fighting, together with the Ground Forces, the Armored Corps and the Engineering Corps forces, and targeted groups of terrorists who were approaching IDF (Zahal) forces to attack them, and also rocket launching sites in which armed terrorists were preparing to fire at the IDF (Zahal) forces.

Around 25 terror sites, among them nine weaponry storage facilities, most of them concealed under houses of operatives, were targeted by the IAF throughout the day. Additional targets hit by IAF aircrafts were tunnels used to smuggle weaponry, four rocket launching sites, a vehicle carrying a rocket launcher, two Hamas outposts and five groups of armed terrorists, some of them opening fire at the IDF (Zahal) forces.