Hothouse Worker From Thailand Killed in South Gaza Infiltration

IDF kills 3 militants who infiltrate hothouses of Kfar Darom settlement; Thai worker killed in crossfire; Palestinian killed in Tul Karm, West Bank.

A greenhouse worker from Thailand was killed Wednesday when three armed Palestinians infiltrated the hothouses of the southern Gaza Strip settlement of Kfar Darom in an apparent attempted terror attack. Israel Defense Forces troops killed all three militants.

Also, IDF troops shot to death one Palestinian in the West Bank after he threw firebombs at them.

In addition, three Golani Brigade soldiers were lightly wounded when a wall from a house collapsed on them in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza.

Late Wednesday evening, Israel Air Force helicopters fired three missiles at a metal workshop on the northern outskirts of Gaza City.

Palestinian security sources said the missiles had struck a metal workshop in the Jabalya refugee camp. Witnesses said no one was wounded in the attack. The two-story foundry was completely destroyed, the witnesses said. The IDF said Hamas had used it to manufacture weapons, which the owner of the workshop denied.

The group of Palestinians who infiltrated the Kfar Darom hothouses earlier on Wednesday did so under the protection of shelling, including anti-tank missiles and mortar shells. The three crossed a fence unequipped with a warning system, entered the hothouses and opened fire on the foreign workers and Israelis at the scene.

One of the workers, a man from Thailand, was seriously wounded. He died a short time later from his wounds.

One of the militants was killed at this point, apparently when a bomb he was carrying exploded.

The two other militants barricaded themselves in the hothouses next to the body of the Thai worker, impeding rescue efforts.

Army Radio reported that Hamas has taken responsibility for the attack.

Givati Brigade infantry troops and undercover Border Police forces arrived to the scene and shot dead the other two militants.

There were no Israeli casualties in the infiltration. The militants were armed with Kalashnikov rifles, and two of the men carried bombs. Additional bombs were later found in the hothouses.

The infiltration was discovered shortly after Palestinians fired a mortar shell at Kfar Darom and an anti-tank missile at Israeli workers near the settlement, apparently in a planned multi-stage terror attack.

The IDF had evacuated five other Thai laborers from the scene.

The Thai laborer killed Wednesday was the second killed in the Gaza Strip. On June 22 another greenhouse worker from Thailand was killed in similar circumstances, when he was struck in the chest by shrapnel from a mortar shell fired at Kfar Darom during an infiltration attempt by Palestinian militants.

The day after the first Thai citizen was killed in Gaza, Thailand called on all its citizens to leave the Gaza Strip.

Thailand's ambassador to Israel, Kasivat Paruggamanont, told Israel Radio after the attack that the death of the Thai laborer demonstrates that Gaza is a dangerous place to work.

"This confirms our conviction that, as we have been saying, it's true, that it's dangerous," he said. "We have been telling everybody that... but nobody listens to us."

On Wednesday evening, Palestinians fired a Qassam rocket that landed in an open area in the northern Gaza Strip near the border fence with Israel. Three mortar shells were also fired at Israeli targets in southern Gaza.

In the West Bank, Palestinian militants threw an explosive device at IDF troops in Nablus.

There were no casualties in any of these incidents, Israel Radio reported.

Four Palestinians die in West Bank and Gaza; three soldiers injuredIn the West Bank city of Tul Karm, one Palestinian was killed and another was injured by IDF fire after the two threw firebombs at the troops.

IDF tanks shelled the north Gaza town of Beit Lahiya early Wednesday, killing three Palestinians and wounding 10 children in their houses, witnesses and medics said.

Another Palestinian died Wednesday of wounds sustained during Operation Days of Penitence, bringing the Palestinian death toll to at least 81 since the start of the raid a week ago. The operation is aimed at halting Palestinians' firing of rockets at Israeli towns.

Medics said tank shells killed a 15-year-old Palestinian in one house and two men in another before dawn in Beit Lahiya.

A shell also hit a house where a family was sleeping, wounding 10 children ranging from six months to 12 years old, several of them seriously, hospital officials said.

IDF sources said troops fired at a group of gunmen who had launched an anti-tank rocket from a house.

Also, a 15-year-old youth shot on Tuesday died of his wounds, doctors said. Residents said he was standing on the balcony of his house next to the Jabalya camp when he was shot in the head.

Three Golani Brigade infantrymen were lightly wounded in the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza after the wall of a house collapsed on them. First investigations revealed that an IDF bulldozer struck the wall by accident, causing it to collapse.

The soldiers, who were scheduled to begin vacations on Thursday, were taken to Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva.

Five Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, including the Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza and a 13-year-old schoolgirl whose death military sources admitted was a mistake. The Jihad commander and his bodyguard were killed in an Israel Air Force missile strike near Gaza City, and three Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades militants were killed in a separate missile strike in the Jabalya refugee camp.