One man killed in Israeli air strike

2011-03-30 10:58
Gaza – Israeli aircraft killed a Palestinian gunman and wounded another as they rode a motorcycle in the southern Gaza Strip, medical officials said today.

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

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

Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian faction that has played a leading role in the violence and is an occasional ally of Gaza’s Hamas rulers, claimed the dead man and his comrade as its own.

They had been driving to mosque prayers when they were struck on the road from Khan Younis to Rafah in south Gaza, Islamic Jihad said in a statement.

With Israel threatening a wider assault on Gaza in response to the recent rocket salvos, Hamas on Saturday offered a truce.

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

Earlier today Israel’s air force bombed a smuggling tunnel used by Palestinians to circumvent a blockade on Gaza’s border with Egypt, witnesses said.