Dr. Mahmoud Asaly, head of Kamal Adwan Hospital in Gaza, reported that seven Palestinians were killed, at least fifteen others were injured, some seriously, after the Israeli air-force shelled Tal Al Zaatar area, in the northern part o the Gaza Strip.

The Islamic Jihad movement in Gaza reported that four of the killed residents are members of the Al Quds brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, while the rest are ordinary civilians.

Shadi Mhanna, leader of the Al Quds brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, and his assistant Mohammad Al Razaina, were killed in the strike.

A local source in Gaza reported that at least one missile was fired at a Palestinian car driving in Tal Al Zaatar area completely damaging it and setting it on fire.

Palestinian ambulances and civil defense teams rushed to the blast location and evacuated the injured residents.

Meanwhile, an Israeli military source reported that the air strike targeted Shadi Mhanna, who is believed to be behind the latest wave of homemade shells which were fired earlier at the Negev.

Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that the missiles were apparently fired from an unmanned aerial vehicle.

The missiles hit a car on a main road between Jabalia refugee camp and the Sheikh Zayed neighborhood. The area was crowded at the time of the attack.

Earlier on Thursday, Israeli threatened to resume its assassination policy, especially against leaders of the Islamic Jihad. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and his Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz decided to launch a wide scaled military offensive in the Palestinian territories.

On Wednesday at night, the Israeli government approved a major military operation in the occupied territories, yet Israeli military sources reported that there are no immediate plans to carry a massive ground operation.

Earlier on Thursday morning, Israeli Air force shelled several areas in the Gaza Strip; the army claims that the shelled locations were used by the resistance to fire homemade shells against Israeli sites.

The Palestinian Authority condemned the attack and warned Israel of its consequences. P.A cabinet minister Dr. Saeb Erekat reported that this strike is considered a dangerous escalation to the situation.

Khader Habib, Islamic Jihad media spokesperson, reported that the movement will “strike back”, and vowed “a painful and immediate response”.

Habib stated that the retaliation will be in Israel “especially after the movement proved that it can enter Israel in spite of the Israeli procedures”.

“We are committed to the truce” Habib said, “but Israel gave it no chances to survive”.

Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, called on the Palestinian factions to retaliate to the assassination, and the Israeli operations and attacks.

Hamas media spokesperson, Moshir Al Masry, said that Israel is targeting the resistance groups in the West Bank, and the Gaza strip, either by assassinating or arresting them.

Mhanna called for a fast retaliation to the Israeli attacks.