Despite Hamas offering a truce on Saturday, exchanges of fire between Israel and Islamic Jihad persist [Reuters]

Israeli aircraft have killed a Palestinian and wounded another as they rode a motorcycle in the southern Gaza Strip, medical officials have said.

Israel's military confirmed carrying out Wednesday's dawn strike, saying it targeted Palestinians who had launched a short-range rocket across the border on Tuesday.

No one was hurt in that attack, which followed a surge in fighting around Gaza this month.

A statement issued by the al-Quds Brigade, Islamic Jihad's armed wing, said the two belonged to their organisation, but had been going to pray when they were attacked.

Smuggling tunnel attacked

A second attack by Israeli warplanes targeted a tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip used to smuggle goods  from Egypt, said a member of the Palestinian security services.

On Tuesday, an Israeli police spokesman said a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel had exploded in a field, causing no casualties.

But last Friday, Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, said Israel was ready to act with "great force" in response to rocket and mortar attacks.

When on Sunday an Israeli air strike killed two Gaza fighters, the al-Quds Brigade threatened to respond.

Gaza's Hamas rulers later the same day issued a statement repeating a call for calm agreed with Islamic Jihad and other factions at a meeting on Saturday.

But exchanges of fire between Israel and Islamic Jihad have persisted.

Source: Agencies