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Israeli Air Strike Kills 2 Palestinian Militants

The two men died when the blast hit their vehicle while driving down a road close to a refugee camp along the Gaza coast.

by Liz Fields
Jun 28 2014, 5:05pm

Photo via AP

An Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza strip has killed two Palestinian militants and critically wounded at least one more Friday afternoon, according to Israeli and Palestinian sources.

The two men died when the blast hit their vehicle while driving down a road close to a refugee camp along the Gaza coast, a Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman said.

They have been identified as Mohammed al-Fasih, and Usama al-Hassumi of the Shikh Radwan neighborhood, north of Gaza City, local media reported.

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A video shows a crowd of people waiting for the bodies of al-Fasih and al-Hassumi at the al-Shati refugee camp at the Gaza strip.

The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) claimed the men had been "involved in firing at Israel in recent weeks and were planning serious terror attacks against Israeli residents," according to Reuters.

Palestinian reports identified the men as members of Salah al-Din Brigades, the military wing for the allied militant network, the Popular Resistance Committees, which has previously launched rockets into southern Israel.

IDF launched a number of air strikes on June 28, purportedly in response to a June 26 rocket attack from Gaza. The June 28 raid followed another four attacks from a day earlier where two Palestinians were killed when a missile struck their car.

Israeli Defense Minister, Moshe Ya'alon, said Israel will "hunt down and hit hard" on any militants involved in launching rocket fire and will hold Hamas responsible for attacks on Gaza, according to Haaretz news agency.

The deaths follows several rocket attacks by Palestinians over the past two weeks into Israeli territory, followed by retaliatory air strikes in Gaza.

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Earlier on Friday, five people, including an 8-year-old boy and two women in their 20s, were wounded by Israeli gunfire, Palestinian medical officials said.

On Thursday, Israel released the names of two primary suspects accused of abducting three Israeli teens, one of whom is a dual US citizen.

The suspects, Marwan Kawasma and Amer Abu Aysha are both Hamas militants in the West Bank city of Hebron, close to where the boys disappeared on June 12.

Hamas has praised the kidnappings, but stopped short at claiming responsibility.