Palestinian dies in Israeli air raid on Gaza

Civilian killed and at least 13 injured in air strike on Gaza City, a day after two fighters died in Israeli air raid.

    Gaza residents gathered for the funeral of two fighters killed on Thursday [Reuters]

    A Palestinian has been killed and at least 13 injured in an Israeli air raid in the Gaza Strip, medics say, a day after another strike killed two fighters.

    The Israeli air strike early on Friday hit a training centre of Hamas' armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, in the east of Gaza City, sending shrapnel flying into nearby houses.

    At the house of one family, a man was killed and at least seven others wounded, including children.

    Two other overnight strikes also targeted training centres of the brigades, the medics said.

    An Israeli army spokeswoman said raids targeting "centres of terrorist activity" had been carried out in response to rocket fire directed at Israel on Thursday night.

    An Israeli air strike on a car on Thursday killed two fighters and wounded two other men on a crowded Gaza street, the Israeli army and local medical officials said.

    Issam Al-Batish and Sobhi Al-Batish were on a main urban thoroughfare when their vehicle was hit.

    In response, Palestinian fighters fired a barrage of rockets deep into southern Israel, some landing near the city of Beersheba, causing no injuries.

    'Terrorist squad'

    The Israeli military said the two men had been planning an attack on Israeli civilians and soldiers along Israel's border with Egypt's Sinai peninsula.

    "[They] were affiliated with a terrorist squad that intended to attack Israeli civilians and soldiers via the western
    border," an army statement said.

    The army statement said Issam had been involved in planning a suicide bombing in the southern Israeli resort of Eilat in 2007 in which three Israeli civilians were killed.

    Issam was identified as a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement.

    The Hamas movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, said Sobhi was affiliated with its al-Qassam Brigades.

    A Hamas spokesman called Thursday's air strike a crime and accused Israel of ratcheting up violence in the area.

    "We hold the government of the Zionist occupation [Israel] fully responsible for this crime and for the new escalation,"
    Fawzi Barhoum said.

    Violence between Israel and Gaza fighters had abated recently, although on Wednesday Israeli troops killed one
    Palestinian gunman and wounded another in a cross-border raid, witnesses and hospital officials said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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