The rear of the car the brothers were travelling in was completely destroyed [AFP]

An Israeli air raid in the Gaza Strip has killed two Palestinian brothers, one of them an alleged leader of a group claimed to be planning attacks against Israelis in the Sinai, according to Israeli military and Palestinian medical sources.

The attack on Wednesday killed Islam Yassin, 39, and his brother Mohammed, 20, news agencies reported Palestinian medical sources as saying.

The men were critically wounded in the missile strike, which completely destroyed the back of their car in the Samer area of Gaza City. They were rushed to the Shifa hospital where they both died shortly afterwards.

Medics said that three bystanders were wounded in the attack.

'Kidnap plot'

"In a joint operation between the IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] and the Shin Bet, an attack was carried out against a senior member of the Army of Islam during which Islam Yassin was killed in northern Gaza," the Israeli army said.

The Israeli military accused Islam Yassin of being "personally involved in planning an attack involving the kidnapping of Israelis in Sinai," across the border in Egypt.

On November 11, Israel's national security council warned Israelis visiting the Sinai peninsula to leave as it believed they could be targeted.

The attack was the second time this month that Israel has targeted members of the Army of Islam, a small hardline armed group.

On November 3, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at another car in Gaza City, killing Mohammed al-Nemnem, whom the Israeli military said was a senior member of the group and a "ticking bomb".

The de facto Hamas government in the Gaza Strip has said it has severed ties with the Army of Islam, which was involved in the cross-border raid that captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006, after it abducted a British journalist in 2007. 

Source: Agencies