Five Palestinians were killed as Israeli warplanes hit the Gaza Strip late on Saturday, Israel's military and Palestinian sources conveyed. Warplanes struck central Gaza to hit a squad of Palestinian fighters set to fire rockets at Israel, the military said, according to AFP.
Witnesses said armed men preparing an attack on Israel were killed in the raid, while medics gave a death toll of five "martyrs". The raid targeted Deir el-Balah in central Gaza, they said.
Hamas security services confirmed that the five Palestinians, all aged around 20, died in an Israeli air raid and were to be buried on Sunday. The witnesses said the dead, former members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad or the Committees of Popular Resistance, belonged to one of the Salafist groups in Gaza. The Israeli army said in a statement that a warplane had "identified and hit a team of terrorist agents preparing to launch rockets at Israeli territory from the central Gaza Strip."