IDF Kills 8 Palestinians, Including 2 Children, in Gaza

Fatalities bring Palestinian death toll to 14 following Nahal Oz fuel terminal terror attack Wednesday.

An Israel Air Force air strike on Friday evening killed a Hamas militant in central Gaza only hours after five people, including two boys, aged 12 and 13, were killed in an Israel Defense Forces ground raid in the same area.

Also on Friday, IAF missiles killed two Palestinians in the southern Gaza Strip.

The deaths brought the Palestinian death toll to 14 in IDF strikes that followed a terror attack Wednesday, in which two Israeli civilians were killed at a vital Gaza fuel terminal.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has pledged to keep hitting Hamas so that it cannot continue to operate against Israeli civilians as it does.

There were no signs, however, of any impending major ground offensive by Israel.

The IDF troops operating near the central Gaza Bureij refugee camp encountered heavy fire from militants using anti-tank missiles, mortar shells, RPGs, and guns.

Israeli forces sustained no injuries. The five Palestinian fatalities were named as 12-year-old Riad al-Awesi, who was fatally shot in the chest, Yusuf Sirhan,13, Jihad Abu Zbeid, 19, Shihab Abu Zbeid, 17, and Yusuf al-Ma'ari, 17.

Six other Palestinians were wounded, medics said.

Earlier Friday, IAF aircraft killed two Hamas militants in a strike on southern Gaza, the group said. The Israeli military confirmed the attack, saying it targeted gunmen near the Gaza-Israel border fence.

The army confirmed troops were operating in Gaza, and that aircraft had struck, but said it did not know anything about the death of the boy.

Also Friday, Gaza snipers opened fire on a tractor working in the agricultural fields of kibbutz Nir Oz, near the Gaza border. No one was injured, but the tractor sustained some damage, Army Radio reported.

The brazen daylight attack on the Nahal Oz fuel terminal Wednesday, where Israel supplies fuel to the Gaza Strip prompted Israel to close the facility, which supplies all the fuel for Gaza's 1.4 million residents.

Israeli officials indicated the cutoff would not last past the weekend. An earlier Israeli plan to cut back fuel shipments in response to rocket attacks by Gaza militants was shelved under international pressure.