Describing the air strike as "an assassination attempt", the group said the men managed to flee before the vehicle was hit by a missile but one of the gunmen was wounded.
 
Ehud Olmert, Israeli prime minister, said just before the air strike that the rocket attacks "constitute a substantial threat" against Israel, and that "Israel will not be able to be restrained anymore".

David Baker, an official in Olmert's office, said Israel would take whatever efforts necessary to thwart the rocket attacks.

"The strike was part of continuous Israeli efforts to nip these [rocket] attacks in the bud and prevent them from being perpetrated, which is precisely what the Palestinian Authority should be doing," he said.

An Israeli was wounded on Sunday when a rocket landed in the southern town of Sderot.

Islamic Jihad was not a party to a Gaza ceasefire agreed by Israel and several other Palestinian groups last November.