Israeli attack on motorcycle injures two men in central Gaza Strip
A Hamas policeman looks at a motorcycle that was hit in an Israeli air strike in Dir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip June 19, 2012. [newagebd]
Israeli warplanes targeted a motorcycle in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, injuring two young Palestinian men, Gaza medical sources said.
Spokesman for the Gaza Strip ministry of health Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma'an that two Palestinian men were evacuated to al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah after an Israeli reconnaissance plane fired a missile at their motorcycle.
Medics said one of the victims was critically wounded and the other sustained moderate injuries.
An Israeli army statement identified the target of the strike as Abdallah Kharti, who was described as a "key Popular Resistance Committees operative" who was involved with "numerous incidents of rocket fire towards Israel."
The statement added that Israeli forces had "operated in order to eliminate an imminent threat to the lives of Israeli civilians," without further detail.
The Popular Resistance Committees are a Gaza-based militant group that opposes negotiations with Israel. The group has no affiliation to the local popular resistance committees that organize regular protests in the West Bank.
Recent weeks have witnessed an increase in tensions on the Gaza Strip, as Israeli forces have repeatedly opened fire on Palestinian protests near the border and launched a number of airstrikes.
Israeli forces killed six Palestinians and injured 41 in attacks on Gaza in January, Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for Gaza's Ministry of Health, said in early February.
Palestinian militants, meanwhile, have fired dozens of rockets toward Israel, which have all landed in unpopulated areas with no injuries reported.
The Gaza Strip government is under Hamas control. While Hamas itself does not routinely fire rockets, Israel says it holds the group, which seized power in Gaza in 2007, responsible for such attacks.
Hamas and Israel have maintained a fragile ceasefire since Nov. 2012, when Israeli forces launched a major assault that killed around 170 Gazans.
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