Seven Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the early hours of Thursday morning as the Israeli government gave the army orders to carry out a major offensive into the strip, Palestinian sources said.

At noon time, Israeli military opened random fire from their gun boats at civilians in Deir al-Balah town in the middle Gaza Strip killing one resident on the spot.

Mohammad Al-Attar, 20, was killed when troops invaded Al-Attatra area and opened random fire at the residents there.

Al-Attar was wounded in the chest first, and bled to death, as the Israeli forces obstructed the ambulance that came to evacuate him.

Dr. Sa’eed Joudeh at the Kamal Udwan hospital said Al-Attar died upon arrival to the hospital.

Earlier, five others were killed as Israeli war planes launched air strikes against the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, three of which in the south and two in the north.

Qassam brigade operative, Osama Hijazi, was killed in Al-Soudania area in the northern Gaza Strip after Israeli Apaches fired three missiles at the area.

Few minutes later, Rami Abu Hashem, a police officer, was killed as Israeli apaches shelled the same place.  Nine others were injured in the attack, three of which suffer serious injuries.

Also on Thursday morning, apaches shelled Al-Sudaniya area again and killed Abdullah Zammar, member of al-Qassam brigade, the armed wing of Hamas, and several others were wounded.

The Israeli army claimed they fired missiles at groups preparing to launch home-made Qassam shells at .

Two journalists were injured in near the borders of Beit Hanoun city in the northern Gaza strip, close to the Israeli military checkpoint Erez, in a drive-by shooting by an unknown car.