Israel confirms strike on Gaza militant cell

09:27, July 06, 2011      

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The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that it had carried out an airstrike on the central Gaza Strip Tuesday afternoon, which killed two Palestinian militants.

A Palestinian medical services spokesman said earlier in the day that the two were killed in the strike and a third person was moderately wounded. Palestinian sources said the dead were members of an extremist Muslim group, and they were close to Israel's borders when the strike took place.

According to an IDF statement, an Israel Air Force (IAF) plane targeted the three as they approached the security fence east of the Maghazi refugee camp, with the intent of launching a rocket towards the Western Negev.

The army reiterated its policy of "zero tolerance" towards rocket attacks, saying it "holds Hamas solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip."

In a separate incident earlier Tuesday, militants fired at an IDF vehicle patrolling the security fence that marks the border with southern Gaza, lightly injuring the driver. Three rockets fired from Gaza hit the Israeli territory in recent days, the IDF statement said.

In April, the IAF launched massive strikes against Gaza militants, killing some 19 people in the most severe flare-up of violence since Israel's incursion into the Palestinian enclave in early 2009. The attacks came in response to a renewal of rocket fire into southern Israel and a Hamas anti-tank missile attack on an Israeli school bus, which killed a 16-year old student.

Source: Xinhua
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