Israel airstrike kills 1 Gaza militant

AP News
Posted: Mar 30, 2011 5:38 AM
Israel airstrike kills 1 Gaza militant

An Israeli aircraft attacked a pair of Palestinian militants riding on a motorcycle in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, killing one and wounding the other, the Islamic Jihad group said.

The Israeli military said it had "targeted and hit a terrorist squad" that had launched rockets toward southern Israel the previous day. The military said the air force carried out an additional airstrike overnight that hit a smuggling tunnel in southern Gaza.

Islamic Jihad said the men were on their way to a nearby mosque to pray. The Iranian-backed group, which has killed scores of Israelis in rocket attacks and suicide bombings, vowed revenge.

Israel invaded Gaza, which is ruled by the Hamas militants, more than two years ago, in a fierce offensive meant to end years of rocket fire.

The operation inflicted heavy losses on Hamas and brought about a period of relative quiet, but Israel believes the group has recovered and restocked its arsenal with even more powerful weapons.

Recently, there has been an escalation of violence along the Gaza-Israel border. Both sides have indicated they do not want a repeat of the winter 2009 war in Gaza.