Israeli jets hit Gaza during unity deal celebrations

Strike misses terrorist reportedly about to launch rockets on Israel; move comes as Hamas and Fatah agree to reconcile

Illustrative image of a cloud of smoke rising over Gaza in the wake of an Israeli air strike. (Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90)
Illustrative image of a cloud of smoke rising over Gaza in the wake of an Israeli air strike. (Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90)

Israeli planes struck Gaza from the air Wednesday as Hamas and Fatah announced a reconciliation nearby in the Palestinian enclave.

Reports said between three and seven people were injured in the attack, which targeted two people on a motorcycle in Beit Lahiya, in the northern strip.

Medical official Ashraf al-Kidreh said the airstrike missed its target and wounded bystanders.

The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement the strike was a “joint anti-terror operation” with the Shin Bet security service. It said “a hit was not identified.”

The intended target — an Islamic Jihad operative — escaped unscathed, according to the Ynet news site. The site reported that the operative was en route to launch rockets at Israel.

The wounded included a 50-year-old man and his two daughters, according to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency, which put the injury toll at seven.

The strike came as officials from the Hamas terror group and the Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization announced a reconciliation deal which would create a new unity government and allow for new elections.

The announcement was met with celebrations on the streets of Gaza, AFP reported.

Israeli officials have slammed the unity deal as pushing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas further from peace efforts.

Earlier this week, Gazans attempted two attacks on Israeli soldiers followed by a rocket barrage on southern Israel.

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