(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

The following is a summary of the main events on Thursday (3 January), in which ten Palestinian gunmen were hit by IDF forces in the Gaza Strip:

IDF forces from the Infantry Corps, the Armored Corps and the Combat Engineering Unit, with the assistance of the Air Force, operated in the southern Gaza Strip since last night. The aim of the operation was to distance terrorist organizations – particularly Hamas – from the security fence, and to operate against the firing of Qassam rockets and mortar shells into Israel.

Armed gunmen approached IDF forces and opened fire at them at several instances in clashes that erupted during the activity. The forces responded with fire both from the air and from the ground. Seven gunmen were killed consequently.

During the day the IDF targeted four Islamic Jihad and Hamas terror organizations’ structures in the Gaza Strip: An Islamic Jihad weapons warehouse in Gaza city, an Islamic Jihad terror operative’s structure in the central Gaza Strip, a Hamas structure in the southern Gaza Strip and a Hamas post in the southern Gaza Strip. The attacks were carried out following the continuous firing of rockets and mortar shells into Israel, including the 122 mm Grad type Katyusha that hit the city of Ashkelon this morning. This is the farthest location in Israel that a rocket launched from Gaza has hit.

During the afternoon, Palestinian gunmen opened fire at an IDF force in the area of the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip, using anti-tank missiles and small arms. The force responded with fire and identified hitting the gunmen.

Throughout the day, Palestinians fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel over 25 mortar shells, six Kassam rockets and one Grad Katyusha.

Regarding the incident earlier today in which civilians got hurt, the IDF Spokesperson wishes to clarify:

Armed gunmen entrenched themselves in a house near IDF forces that were operating against terror threats in the southern Gaza Strip. The gunmen fired heavily at the forces, from within the house, using several anti-tank missiles and small-arms. The forces responded with tank fire towards the sources of fire, killing two armed gunmen and apparently two Palestinian women who were with the gunmen in the house at the time. The IDF wishes to clarify that the responsibility for the death of the Palestinian women lies with the gunmen, who operated intentionally from a civilian environment.