An Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip has killed at least three Palestinians and wounded a fourth, a spokesman for the territory’s health ministry says.
Achraf al-Qudra told the AFP news agency the attack happened late on Wednesday to the east of the al-Maghazi refugee camp in the centre of the Gaza Strip.
Al-Qudra gave names of two of those killed as Khalil al-Jerba, 27, and Khaled al-Qerem, 25. Witnesses said the Israeli strike had targeted the car in which they were travelling.
An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the attack to AFP. “The Israeli army targeted a group of terrorists who were preparing to fire rockets at Israel from the centre of the Gaza Strip,” she said.
“This team has been implicated in the previous launching of rockets targeting communities in southern Israel.”
In recent days, Palestinian fighters have fired rockets into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, without causing any casualties, according to the Israeli army. A radical Salafist splinter group has claimed responsibility for some of the attacks.
Despite an informal truce between Hamas and Israel, tensions flare periodically on the Gaza-Israel border. Palestinian fighters fire rockets into Israel and the Israeli military launches retaliatory air strikes on the Palestinian territory.
The last major flare-up was in June, when fighters fired more than 150 rockets at southern Israel, wounding five people, and Israel hit back with air strikes that killed 15 Palestinians.