Israel kills five Palestinians in Gaza


Israel killed five Palestinians in the Gaza Strip today, three in an air strike after a rocket attack on Israel and two in a separate ground confrontation, Palestinian rescue workers said.

The Israeli army confirmed its aircraft had fired into Gaza, and that two gunmen were killed after breaching Israel's border fence with the coastal territory.

A spokesman for the militant Popular Resistance Committees said three of the group's members had been killed in an Israeli air strike over the northern Gaza Strip, one of them a field commander.

Islamic Jihad identified the two men killed in the other incident as members of their group.

Before the Israeli air strike took place, militants fired two rockets from coastal Gaza, both striking near the city of Ashkelon and causing no casualties, a military spokesman said.

The violence came a day after Israeli marines stormed a Turkish-backed aid flotilla destined for Gaza, in a confrontation that left nine people dead.