The air strike in the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Friday came as the Palestinian prime minister and president tried to settle some of their differences in a meeting.

 

Earlier this week, President Mahmoud Abbas had seized more power from Prime Minister Ismail Haniya's Hamas fighters, including control over security forces.

 

The Israeli strike targeted a training camp of the Popular Resistance Committees, an umbrella group for fighters from various factions, including many with ties to Hamas.

 

The group has attacked Israeli targets in the past, including planting bombs under tanks.

 

Training camp

 

The Israeli military said the aircraft targeted the car as it was leaving the training camp, and Palestinian police said four missiles were fired.

 

Israel said the car was leaving a
training camp for fighters (file)

Witnesses said Israeli aircraft fired three missiles. Besides the fighters' vehicle, another car carrying civilians outside the camp may have been struck, they said.

 

Among those killed were at least three fighters, including Iyad Abul Aynayn, 29, who was a Popular Resistance Committees commander and chief bomb maker. His son was also killed. 

 

Abul Aynayn had brought his son and daughter to watch training exercises at the camp. It is not known if his daughter was among the injured. 

 

Fourteen people were wounded, including one person who is now in a coma, Palestinian security officials said.

 

Israel has killed scores of fighters as well as bystanders in air strikes in more than five years of Israeli-Palestinian fighting.

 

Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a Palestinian Authority spokesman, said the strike was a "dangerous escalation" and called on the international community to take action.