GAZA (Reuters) - An Israeli air strike on the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip killed three gunmen as they tried to launch short-range rockets into the Jewish state on Wednesday, the military said.
Palestinian medical officials and witnesses confirmed that three militants had been killed in the attack near Bureij, in central Gaza. They did not immediately give the dead men's factional affiliation but said they did not belong to Hamas.
Though hostile to Israel, Islamist Hamas has at times proposed long-term truces and faced resistance to its rule from smaller armed groups in Gaza.
Israel's long-standing policy has been to blame Hamas, against which it fought a war in 2008-2009, for all attacks.
"The Hamas terror organisation is solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip," the Israeli military said in a statement.
It said the men targeted from the air had previously fired rockets across the border and were preparing to do so again.
(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Michael Roddy)