A few hours after the attack on Wednesday, an Islamic Jihad leader escaped with light wounds after an Israeli missile struck his vehicle in the Gaza Strip. Witnesses said Khader Habib had just left his car when a missile struck it.
The Israeli military had no immediate comment on the strike.
According to witnesses to the first attack, an Israeli aircraft fired on a car near the Karni crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel, killing three members of the al-Nasir Salah al-Din Brigades.
The brigades is the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, a coalition of resistance groups.
Khader Habib escaped an Israeli
They said the fourth dead man might have been from the
al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, an armed group in Fatah.
A fifth occupant of the car and two bystanders were wounded, paramedics said.
Abu Abir, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, vowed revenge for the attack, urging Israelis in Sderot, a town near Gaza often hit by rockets, to flee their homes because “soon our rockets will target them”.
An Israeli military spokesman said the army hit “terrorists on the way to carry out an attack”.
A spokesman for Hamas, Sami Abu Zuhra, told Aljazeera that the attack “targets all of the Palestinian people, irrespective of the factions”.
A fifth occupant of the car was
“We hold the Israeli side accountable for the implications of this aggression.”
Commenting on the timing of the attack ahead of the Palestinian legislative elections, Abu Zuhra said Israel “wanted to impede the elections process, as they have always said they would.”
“We are determined to succeed in the elections,” he added.
The attack by Israel appeared to be the latest in a series of deadly airstrikes against the resistance.
Israel renewed its targeted strikes after an Islamic Jihad bomber killed five Israelis at a shopping mall on 5 December.