Israeli air strike kills Palestinians in Gaza

Victims described by sources as two members of armed faction who were travelling in a car near a beach refugee camp.

    An Israeli air raid has killed two Palestinians and critically wounded a third in the Gaza Strip, medical officials in the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory say.

    Friday's attack targeted a car travelling along a coastal road near a beach refugee camp in Gaza, Reuters news agency reported quoting witnesses.

    One source identified the men as belonging to the Popular Resistance Committees, a network of armed Gaza-based Palestinian groups that has been responsible for firing rockets into southern Israel in the past.

    An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was checking the report.

    In earlier violence on Friday, several Palestinians were wounded by Israeli tank fire near the southern part of the Israel-Gaza border, medical officials and the Israeli army said.

    They included an 11-year-old boy who was in serious condition.

    Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesman for Gaza's health services, told AFP news agency that five Palestinians were wounded when the tanks targeted "two mosque minarets" east of Khan Younis, in southern Gaza.

    The Israeli army said its troops near the border fence had been targeted by an explosive device and tanks responded with "fire towards lookout posts used to guide the attack against the forces".

    Palestinian fighters from Gaza have launched several rocket attacks into Israeli territory in the past two weeks and Israel has bombed targets in the territory, including training grounds allegedly belonging to armed factions.

    An army spokeswoman told AFP that nine explosive devices were set off at Israeli forces near the border with Gaza since the beginning of the year.

    Friday's violence comes a day after Israel announced the names of two men it said was suspected of involvement in the disappearance of three Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank.

    Marwan Qawasme and Amar Abu Aysha, both Palestinians from the West Bank city of Hebron, had previously served time in Israeli jails, Reuters said.

    Israel scaled back its house-to-house searches for the missing young settlers on Tuesday after arresting several hundred Palestinians.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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