Palestinian Fighter Wounded in Israeli Strike

A Palestinian fighter has been left in critical condition, following an Israeli air strike, the AFP news agency reported.

Abdallah Kherati was riding a motorcycle in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, the Palestinian enclave bordering Israel to the west, when he was struck by a missile at around six GMT on Sunday, according to medical sources at the city’s Al-Aqsa hospital.

Kherati lost his leg in the strike and medical sources said he was in a critical condition.

A senior source in the Popular Resistance Committees, a coalition of armed Palestinian groups, confirmed the injured man was Kherati and added that he had worked within the movement until breaking off to form a splinter group several months ago.

The Israeli military confirmed the strike and Kherati as its target, saying he was “affiliated with global jihad” and involved in “numerous incidents of rocket fire towards Israel,” AFP reported.

According to army figures, 33 rockets have been fired at southern Israel since the beginning of the year.

Gaza’s Hamas movement has redeployed a 600-strong security force to prevent cross-border rocket fire.

A spokesman for Hamas said the group would “not allow the occupation [Israel] to break off the ceasefire” that ended an eight-day conflict in November 2012 and was largely respected throughout 2013.

A second man, thought to be a civilian bystander, was also moderately injured in Sunday’s attack.

(Agencies via Al Jazeera – www.aljazeera.com)

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