An Israeli military helicopter fired three missiles at a car
south to Gaza City on Wednesday afternoon, shortly before 3:00 pm (local time).
Three people were said to have been killed in the explosion. Hamas officials said the dead were members of Hamas military wing. The Israeli army confirmed the targets of the attack were "senior Hamas officials." The dead were identified as Amer Hassan, 25, Tarad al Jamali, 24, and Ibrahim a-Diri, 38.
Hamas leader, Abd al-Aziz al Rantissi, threatened that the movement would respond with a military strike. He said, "even if the Hamas members were on their way to carry out a legitimate attack on the settlement of Netzarim, a military response to the action will be forthcoming. Before [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon] withdraws from Gaza, he continues to carry out crimes against the Islamic movements in the Strip."
Witnesses reported at least two blasts as well as gunfire and a power outage as Israeli aircraft flew over the area, not far from the Netzarim settlement.
A day earlier, the Israeli military announced it would heighten its battle against Palestinian groups.
"In wake of the intensification of the activities of the terrorist organisations over the last few weeks, we will intensify our anti-terror operations," the Israeli military's chief of staff, General Moshe Yaalon (Bugi), told Army Radio. (Albawaba.com)
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