December 11, 2007 / 6:44 AM / 12 years ago

Israeli air strike kills Gaza militant

Israeli soldiers walk near the Kissufim crossing, after operating in the Gaza Strip, November 7, 2007. An Israeli air strike killed a militant who was trying to launch rockets from the northern Gaza Strip and another died in an explosion in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, militant sources, medics and the army said. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

GAZA (Reuters) - An Israeli air strike killed a militant who was trying to launch rockets from the northern Gaza Strip and another died in an explosion in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, militant sources, medics and the army said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said an Israeli aircraft fired at a group of militants near the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun and identified hitting them.

An official from the Islamic Jihad militant organization said the dead man was a member of their group. At least two other men were wounded in the strike, Palestinian medics said.

The Israeli army frequently carries out attacks against militants in the coastal territory in an attempt to stop them launching rockets and mortar bombs into southern Israel.

Israeli ground forces also carried out a raid near the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah and detained a number of people, local residents said. The spokeswoman said troops were executing routine operations in the area.

In the major West Bank city of Nablus, a Palestinian militant died when an explosive he was planning to use against Israeli troops detonated accidentally, local residents said.

The spokeswoman said Israeli troops had made two arrests during a raid in Nablus and that the militant died while he was preparing a bomb to use against the force.

Hospital officials identified the dead man as a militant from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an offshoot of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement. They said three other people were wounded by the explosion.

Troops often raid West Bank towns and villages looking for militants suspected of involvement in attacks against Israelis.

Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi, additional reporting by Atef Saad in Nablus; Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Michael Winfrey

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