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      Limited IDF Operations Underway in Southern Gaza

      Eight PA terrorists were eliminated in several IDF counter-terrorism operations in Gaza on Tuesday. Four soldiers suffered from smoke inhalation.
      By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
      First Publish: 12/11/2007, 11:16 AM

      Eight Palestinian Authority terrorists in Gaza were eliminated in IDF counter-terrorism operations by noontime on Tuesday, including six in southern Gaza who were killed in
      At least 30 tanks and bulldozers moved into the areas around Khan Younis and Rafiah in southern Gaza.
      Israel Air Force air strikes near Khan Younis. Four soldiers suffered from smoke inhalation.

      At least 30 tanks and bulldozers moved into the areas around Khan Younis and Rafiah in southern Gaza early Tuesday morning, clashing with PA terrorists who fired rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and mortars. Israeli forces destroyed a gas station on the road between the two Gaza cities, both hotbeds of smuggling and terrorist activity. More than 20 PA suspects were taken into custody during house-to-house searches before 9:00 am, as Israeli soldiers deployed on rooftops and in the streets.

      Three terrorists from the Islamic Jihad who approached ground forces in an effort to carry out an attack were eliminated in an air strike. A subsequent air strike on the unused airport in Rafiah, on the Gaza-Egyptian border, critically injured three other PA terrorists, according to Arab sources. The condition of two other members of the targeted Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) cell is unknown.

      Four IDF soldiers who suffered from smoke inhalation as a result of an RPG attack near Khan Yunis were evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva.

      An IDF spokesman described the ongoing operation, approximately one mile into southern Gaza, as "routine counter-terrorism" activity.

      PA Rocket Attacks Continue
      Palestinian Authority terrorists in Gaza launched a Kassam rocket attack on the western Negev early Tuesday morning. The rocket exploded in an open area, causing no injuries or damage. On Monday, a toy factory in the city of Sderot was destroyed in a PA rocket attack. Enemy forces have launched more than 2,000 rockets at Jewish communities and forces in the Negev since the start of 2007. The Israeli government still has not issued orders for a full-scale IDF offensive to halt the attacks.

      In earlier hours of the morning, Israel Air Force fighter pilots killed two PA terrorists in separate air strikes in northern Gaza, as well. North of Beit Hanoun, an Islamic Jihad terrorist was killed overnight Monday in a gunfight with IDF troops. Four other terrorists were wounded in the clash, locals said.  IDF spokesmen confirmed that there had been a gunfight in the area.

      In other counter-terror operations, IDF troops arrested 12 wanted PA residents late Monday night during a sweep of Judea and Samaria. The 12 fugitives were transferred to General Security Services personnel for questioning.