Targeted Israeli air strike kills Palestinian in Gaza Strip

Palestinian kills settler in unrelated incident on West Bank

Palestinian policemen loyal to Hamas inspect the scene in Gaza after an Israeli airstrike  killed a Palestinian and wounded another in the Gaza Strip today. Photograph: Suhaib Salem/Reuters

Palestinian policemen loyal to Hamas inspect the scene in Gaza after an Israeli airstrike killed a Palestinian and wounded another in the Gaza Strip today. Photograph: Suhaib Salem/Reuters

 

An Israeli airstrike killed a Palestinian and wounded another in the Gaza Strip today, medics said, in the first targeted attack against militants since a ceasefire ended an eight-day war in November.

An Israeli government spokesman said the military had hit a “jihadi who was an expert in manufacturing rockets”.

He said the man had “played a role” in a rocket attack launched from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula against Israel’s Red Sea resort of Eilat on April 17th, which had caused no damage or injuries.

Militant Jihadist

Locals in Gaza named the dead man as Haitham Al-Mes-hal (29), saying he was hit while riding a motorcycle in the north of the enclave. He was believed to be a member of Hamas’s national security force, but relatives said he also belonged to a militant Jihadist Salafi organisation.

Islamist militants in Gaza have fired intermittently at Israel in recent weeks despite an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire reached after the November conflict.

Hamas, an Islamist group close to the Muslim Brotherhood which now rules neighbouring Egypt, has cracked down on hardline Salafist rivals it sees as jeopardising its control of the Gaza Strip.

It was not immediately clear whether today’s strike would unleash a renewed round of violence. The attack came just two days after prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu had warned of a strong response to sporadic rocket fire into Israel.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated incident today in the nearby occupied West Bank, a Palestinian killed a settler in the first such incident since 2011.

Reuters