One Israeli was killed and four Israel Defense Forces troops were wounded Wednesday morning when an explosive device went off along a patrol route near the settlement of Morag in the southern Gaza Strip.
The victim was identified as Gideon Rivlin, 50, a father of five from the Ganei Tal settlement in the Gaza Strip. Rivlin worked for a company that installed security fences in the area.
The blast is believed to have been caused by a bomb planted by a Palestinian militant in a tunnel dug under the patrol route near Morag's hothouses. Rivlin was riding in the IDF vehicle at the time of the blast.
Two militants who carried out the attack were killed by IDF gunfire in the aftermath of the blast. One body was located immediately near the scene of the bombing and troops later found the body of the second gunman.
The Gush Katif settlers' council said that Rivlin and the four injured soldiers were all victims of the government's policy of restraint.
The radical Islamic Jihad movement claimed responsibility for the attack, Reuters reported.
Rivlin was laid to rest in Gush Katif at 7 P.M. on Wednesday.
Early Wednesday evening, the IDF ordered residents of Netzarim to stay indoors after a burst of gunfire was heard near the central Gaza settlement. Troops were searching area, Army Radio reported.
Palestinians continue Gaza settlements shellingPalestinians fired three mortar shells at a Gush Katif settlement in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning.
The shells hit and damaged hothouses at the settlement's outskirts. No casualties were reported.
In a separate incident in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian militants fired an anti-tank missile at an IDF force patrolling outside a settlement. No casualties were reported in this incident.
IDF tanks operate in Gaza CityAlso on Wednesday morning, IDF tanks briefly entered Gaza City and wounded one militant in fighting that ensued, while four others were arrested, Palestinian witnesses reported.
Palestinian security officials and witnesses said Israel Air Force helicopters fired two missiles at a target south of Gaza City shortly before the tanks moved into the city.
Military officials said the operation began with helicopters firing warning shots into an open area. They would not say what the object of the raid was.
Residents said after firing the missiles, the helicopters raked the area with machine gun fire, and IDF tanks pulled out of nearby Netzarim in the direction of Gaza City.
Witnesses said gunmen were exchanging fire with the soldiers, who entered the Ajlin neighborhood of the city.
IDF troops kill two Palestinians in West BankIn the West Bank on Wednesday evening, IDF troops arrested a wanted Hamas operative at the Beit Iba checkpoint, west of Nablus.
IDF troops on Wednesday morning killed two Palestinian militants, members of the radical Islamic movement Hamas, in an operation in the West Bank village of Qarwat Beni Zeit, north-west of Ramallah, Israel Radio reported.
The troops surrounded a house in the village and called on occupants to leave, and then entered to search the premises.
Gunmen opened fire on the troops and they returned fire, killing two Palestinians, an IDF spokesman said.
After a check, the troops determined that the two Palestinians killed were the activists they had come to arrest, the army said. One was carrying a Kalashnikov assault rifle.