GAZA (Reuters) - An Israeli air strike on a vehicle killed three Palestinian security officials in the Hamas-Islamist ruled Gaza Strip on Wednesday, Palestinian medics and Hamas said.

The Israeli military confirmed it had launched an air strike in Gaza but had no further comment.

Hamas and Palestinian hospital officials said a raid after darkness fell in the town of Rafah on Gaza's border with Egypt killed three officials responsible for overseeing tunnels used to import goods from Egypt.

In a statement, Hamas said "Israel has assassinated three of our officers as they were doing their duty in protecting the security of our people."

Israel accuses Hamas of using the subterranean conduits to smuggle in weapons used to attack the Jewish state.

Israel has often targeted Gaza militants by aerial attack in response to rocket fire at its southern towns. Last week Israel killed three gunmen suspected of firing short-range missiles at an Israeli town.

(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; editing by Andrew Roche)