Deadly Israel raid on Gaza deals blow to truce efforts

Israeli air strike on Gaza

An Israeli air strike on Gaza killed one Palestinian and wounded two today, medics said, in a blow to Egyptian-brokered efforts to restore an informal truce.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Israeli military of the latest raid which followed several on the territory during the night that drew retaliatory rocket fire into Israel.

The casualties came in a strike east of the city of Khan Yunis, in the south of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources said.

Overnight raids targeted two camps of the armed wing of Gaza's Hamas rulers in the centre and north of the territory, and a former Hamas security post in Gaza City. They wounded about 20 people, the Hamas-run health ministry said.

Palestinian militants struck back, firing at least 23 rockets into southern Israel, most of them hitting the town of Sderot close to the Gaza border, Israeli officials told AFP, adding that one man was wounded.

An Israeli army statement said the latest raids were in response to rocket fire earlier in the week.

Israel held Hamas responsible for "all terrorist activity coming from the Gaza Strip," the army statement added.

On Friday, medics in the Gaza Strip reported that two Palestinians had been killed and four wounded when Israeli warplanes struck twice.

A first Israeli air strike yesterday afternoon targeted the east of Al-Bureij in the central part of the Gaza Strip, killing Basel Ahmad, 29, who was of no known affiliation, medical sources said.

Two other Palestinians were wounded in the strike, one of them seriously, the sources added.

Israeli aircraft "targeted a terrorist squad during preparations to fire a rocket at Israel from the central Gaza Strip. A hit was identified," the military said in a statement.

A second Israel air strike killed another Palestinian in the north of Gaza.

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