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Three Palestinians said killed in Israeli strike on Gaza rocket crew

One more seriously wounded; army says targeted terrorists were involved in previous attacks

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Smoke rises in Gaza after Israeli warplanes strike Hamas targets in June 2012. (photo credit: Majdi Fathi,@RichardDufek, Twitter)
Smoke rises in Gaza after Israeli warplanes strike Hamas targets in June 2012. (photo credit: Majdi Fathi,@RichardDufek, Twitter)

Israeli Air Force jets on Wednesday night struck a terrorist cell in the central Gaza Strip as its members were preparing to fire a rocket into Israel, the IDF reported.

Three Palestinians were killed in the airstrike, just east of the Bureij refugee camp. Israel Radio reported that another Palestinian was  seriously wounded.

According to the IDF, the same cell had been involved in previous rocket launches at Israel.

Earlier Wednesday, an ultraconservative Islamic group reported that Hamas security forces had detained 20 of its members in a crackdown on rocket fire from Gaza on southern Israel.

The little-known group — the Mujahadeen Shura Council of Jerusalem — posted word of the sweep on its website.

The crackdown was the first in more than a year on ultraconservative Salafi groups operating in Gaza. Hamas currently is believed to be interested in avoiding a conflict with Israel over rocket fire.

At least five rockets were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip in the past week. All the rockets landed in unpopulated areas causing no injuries or damage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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