2 Dead, 2 Hurt in New Israeli Strike on Gaza

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Two men were killed and another two critically wounded on Sunday in an Israeli strike on central Gaza, Palestinian medics said in what was the third deadly raid in 24 hours.

The incident occurred just east of Deir al-Balah, with the Israeli military confirming it had targeted "a terrorist rocket squad."

Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for the Hamas-run health ministry, said the strike had initially killed one man and left three others in critical condition, but one of the wounded died shortly afterwards.

"Two people were killed -- one of those who was critically wounded died of his wounds," he told Agence France Presse.

He named the victims as Ezzedine Abu Nasira, 23, and Ahmad Fatayer, 22, both of whom were from Deir al-Balah.

Witnesses said the strike targeted a motorcycle, and said that both men were militants.

Qudra said both of those wounded in the strike were civilians.

An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed there was a "targeting of a terrorist rocket squad" which had just fired a rocket at southern Israel.

"They had just fired a rocket at Israel which hit the area of the Eshkol regional council," she said. No-one was injured on the Israeli side.

According to the army, more than 500 rockets have hit Israel since the start of 2012, more than 40 of which were fired in the first two weeks of October.

It was the third deadly Israeli raid within 24 hours.

On Saturday night, the air force targeted a motorcycle in the northern town of Jabaliya, killing a top Salafist leader and a fellow militant.

Several hours later, warplanes targeted two militants from the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in the southern city of Khan Younis, killing one and critically wounding the second.

Speaking to the Israeli cabinet on Sunday morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that jihadists were stepping up their attempts to harm Israelis and warned that it would not be tolerated.

"Global jihad is increasing its efforts to strike at us and we shall continue to act aggressively and forcefully in response, and also with preventive strikes," he said.

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