Eight Palestinian activists, one of them a senior commander, have been killed and 16 other people wounded in the Gaza Strip in four Israeli raids carried out since late Thursday. In the first raid three men -- two of them from the Islamic Jihad and a third from the armed wing of Hamas -- died in the southern town of Khan Younis. Six people were hurt in rhis incident.
The Israeli army said that infantry units backed by air power carried out a "routine operation" targeting activists who were firing rockets and mortars at Israeli targets.
Shortly afterwards, two Islamic Jihad fighters were killed and two wounded in an air raid in the central Gaza Strip, medics said. A third Israeli raid, which witnesses said was carried out by either helicopters or drones, killed an Islamic Jihad member and wounded two more south of Gaza City, medical sources said.
Islamic Jihad named the victim as Mohammed Abdullah, 40, a senior commander of its Al-Quds Brigades military wing who operated under the nom de guerre of Abu Morshed. An Israeli army spokesman confirmed an air raid had been carried out.
In the fourth Gaza Strip raid a Hamas member was killed near Khan Younis. Five other people were wounded by air to surface missiles, medics said.
In a raid in the West Bank, Zionist soldiers shot dead a member of the security force of former Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qorei, currently the senior Palestinian negotiator with Israel. Motassem A-Sharif, 22, was killed while trying to flee Israeli soldiers who had arrived at his house to arrest him, the witnesses said.