Islamic Jihad man killed in Israeli attack

Air strike on car kills Ismael al-Asmar in the Gaza border town of Rafah.

    At least 15 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air strikes since Thursday [EPA]

    A member of the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad has been killed in an Israeli air strike on a car in which he was travelling in the Gaza Strip.

    An Israeli military statement on Wednesday said a direct hit killed Ismael al-Asmar in the border town of Rafah.

    A spokesman for a medical service run by Hamas, which controls the territory, said two other people were wounded in the attack.

    The attack comes after Hamas said on Monday that Palestinian factions and Israel had agreed to observe a ceasefire along the border of exchanges of air strikes and rocket attacks.

    The truce was announced by a senior official in Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, following four days of violence sparked by ambushes near Eilat in southern Israel on Thursday in which eight Israelis died.

    Gaza's Popular Resistance Committees, which have claimed responsibility for many of the rocket attacks, said on Monday it would abide by the temporary agreement.

    "We have temporarily stopped firing rockets at Israel according to the national consensus," the group said at a press conference in Gaza City, the AFP reported.

    Tensions in and around Gaza have risen rapidly since Thursday's deadly attacks near the Red Sea town of Eilat. Israel blamed the attack on gunmen who it claimed had entered southern Israel from Gaza through Egypt.

    Both Hamas and the PRC have denied responsibility for the attacks.

    Seven of the attackers and five Egyptian security personnel were killed as Israeli troops pursued the gunmen.

    Israel also launched a wave of air strikes, killing 15 people in the Gaza Strip.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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