Two Palestinians Killed in Israeli Strike

An Israeli air strike on a car killed two fighters and wounded two other men on a crowded Gaza street, the Israeli army and local medical officials said.
The men were identified as Issam Al-Batish and Sobhi Al-Batish, relatives initially identified as brothers.
Hundreds of Palestinians crowded around the charred remains of the car, which was hit in the bright afternoon sunshine on a main urban thoroughfare.
Local reports indicate that an Israeli drone fired a rocket at the car.
In Tel Aviv, an Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed an air strike had been carried out.
She said the two men killed in the incident had been planning an attack on Israeli civilians and soldiers along Israel’s border with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
"(They) were affiliated with a terrorist squad that intended to attack Israeli civilians and soldiers via the western border," an army statement said.
The army statement added that Issam had been involved in planning a suicide bombing in the southern Israeli resort city of Eilat in 2007 in which three Israeli civilians were killed, and a number of other attacks, some of which had been topped.
Issam was a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an offshoot of Abbas’s Fatah movement, group officials said.
Hamas said Sobhi was affiliated with its own armed wing.
Violence between Israel and Gaza militants has abated slightly recently, although on Wednesday Israeli troops killed one Islamic Jihad gunman and wounded another in a rare cross-border incursion, witnesses and hospital officials said.
Islamic Jihad is at times allied with Gaza’s Hamas rulers but the group has chafed at recent efforts by the more powerful faction to impose de facto truces across the coastal territory.
Hamas and Israel carried out an Egyptian- and German-brokered prisoner swap in mid-October.

(Agencies via Al Jazeera)

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