The Israeli killing of three Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza Friday night was encouraged by U.S.-sponsored meetings between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the radical movement said on Saturday.
"The Israeli occupation utilized the resumption of political meetings with the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to commit new crimes against the Palestinian people," the movement said in a statement faxed to the press.
On Friday evening, Israeli aircraft raided a car traveling on a Gaza city road, killing three members of the Islamic Jihad's armed wing.
The airstrike came shortly after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York where he and his aides held a series of meetings with Israeli officials, including hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The United States arranged for the meetings despite Abbas's decision not to meet Netanyahu unless the latter stops Jewish settlement in the West Bank and endorses the two-state solution.
For the Islamic Jihad, the international applause of the Israeli-Palestinian meetings "provided cover for the Israeli crime," the first in months since the Israeli war on the Gaza that ended in January.
The statement also slammed the PNA, saying its security commitments "have crippled and shackled the resistance" against Israel.
The PNA is based in the West Bank while the Gaza Strip is ruled by Hamas. According to some observers, Hamas is observing an undeclared ceasefire with Israel.
However, Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, denied that his movement was bounded by a truce.