IAF planes struck more than 50 targets overnight as Operation Cast Lead continued. Mixed forces including tank units and the engineering corps continued ground operations.
Among the IAF targets hit were: a Hamas naval base, an office used by Islamic Jihad, five rocket launching sites, more than 15 weapons caches, five weapons factories and more than five groups of armed Hamas terrorists.
One of the rocket launching sites was located right next to a mosque, and some of the weapons caches were located in the private homes of Hamas operatives.
IDF warships continued striking terrorists as well, and destroyed rocket launchers in the village of Dir el-Balah.
According to an intermediate report compiled by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the IDF has attacked more than 950 terrorist targets in Gaza during the Cast Lead operation. Approximately 770 Gaza residents have been killed, most of them terrorist members of Hamas.
Gaza Arabs reported that among those killed in the airstrikes was Ihab el-Wahidi, who served as the personal photographer of former Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat. Wahidi and his mother and wife were killed by either an IAF strike or a tank shell, local Arabs said.
Also killed were five family members of a senior Democratic Front terrorist in Beit Lahiya, sources said.
Gaza Arabs have blamed all civilian deaths in Gaza thus far on the IDF. No deaths have been reported as a result of Hamas mortar attacks, despite the fact that Hamas continues to fire mortar shells within heavily populated civilian areas.
Look-Outs Take Out Terrorist
For the first time ever, IDF look-outs stationed on the Gaza border took out a terrorist using an advanced system developed by Rafael Defense Systems. The system allows look-outs to fire on terrorists near the Gaza security barrier using a remotely-operated system, without exposing themselves to fire.
Female soldiers stationed near the border spotted a group of terrorists approaching the barrier late on Thursday night. The soldiers fired on the group, killing one.