An Israeli airstrike has killed a Palestinian man and wounded another in the Gaza Strip, medics said, in what appeared to be the first such attack since a ceasefire ended an eight-day war last November.
“A man in his 20s was martyred and another injured in an Israeli air strike… in Shati refugee camp in western Gaza City,” Ashraf al-Qudra, a health ministry spokesman, said.
The aircraft hit the motorcycle as it was traveling northwest of Gaza City, killing the driver and wounding a passenger.
A bystander was also wounded, according to Gaza medical officials.
Witnesses named the victim as a 23-year-old member of an armed group, Haitham al-Meshal.
The Israeli military confirmed it had carried out the attack, which came just two days after Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, had warned of a strong military response to sporadic rocket fire into Israel.
“A global jihad-affiliated terrorist has been targeted by an IAF [Israeli Air Force] aircraft in the northern Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire towards Israel,” the military said.
“On April 17, Meshal was involved in the [Mujahedeen] Shura Council organisation’s firing rockets at Eilat,” it added, without giving further details.
Hamas, the group that rules Gaza, condemned the Israeli attack but also signaled that it is eager to preserve the truce.
“We call on Egypt to put pressure on the Israeli occupation to stop these crimes and to force them to honour the truce and stop the aggression,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.
He called for a “joint and unified” effort by Gaza’s various armed factions.