Two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli strike on north Gaza on Monday, medics said, just hours after gunmen mounted a deadly ambush on the Egyptian border, killing an Israeli.
The Israeli army confirmed the strike but military sources said it was not linked to the bloodshed along the Egyptian border during which gunmen sneaked across the frontier and killed an Israeli construction worker, sparking a firefight in which two of the attackers were killed.
“Two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli air strike targeting a group of people east of Beit Hanun,” said Adham Abu Selmiya, spokesman for the Hamas-run emergency services.
Witnesses identified the two men as members of the radical Islamic Jihad movement and said they were riding a motorcycle near the Israeli border at the time.
They named the two as Mohamed Shabat and Ismail Odeh, saying both were in their 20s.
The military confirmed the strike, describing the two men as being part of a “squad of snipers operating near the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip.”
“The squad is one of those responsible for the latest sniping incidents along the security fence in the Gaza Strip, including the incident in which terrorists fired at an Israeli farmer near Kibbutz Nir Oz on Thursday, June 14, 2012,” the army said.
Separately military sources said the incident was “in no way related to today’s incident along the Israel-Egypt border.”
The Israeli military staged two raids over Gaza during the night, hitting a weapons manufacturing site in the south and another “terror activity site” in the centre of the coastal strip.
The raids came several hours after militants fired eight mortars at troops on the border.