Ma'an News Agency
February 24, 2011 - 12:00am
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=363138


An Israeli airstrike targeted southern Gaza late Thursday, moderately injuring two Palestinians in an attack on a vehicle in the city of Rafah.

The injured were taken by ambulance to the Abu Najjar hospital, said Adham Abu Salmiya, a spokesman for the Gaza medical services.

At least one of the victims was still in the vehicle, which was on fire after sustaining four direct strikes, witnesses said. Residents of Khan Younis confirmed hearing four distinct explosions around the time of the attack.

Witnesses said the vehicle belonged to the government in Gaza.

Israel's army said the attack targeted "terror operatives" in southern Gaza.

"Direct hits were confirmed," the army said in an emailed statement. "The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians or IDF soldiers, and will continue to respond harshly to terror."

The statement did not elaborate on the military's suspicions.

Reports in the Israeli press that one of the Palestinians died could not be confirmed.

Renewed violence erupted a day earlier when a Palestinian was killed and 10 other people wounded after an Israeli tank opened fire in clashes with Palestinian operatives east of Gaza City.

Three of them were from the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, and one of them later died, the group said.

Israeli fire killed the Palestinian and Gaza-based operatives fired the first rocket into Israel's Beersheva since a 2009 offensive. There were reports of damage but no injuries.




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