July 16, 2011 / 12:58 PM / 9 years ago

Israeli air strike wounds Gaza gunman: medics

GAZA (Reuters) - An Israeli air strike wounded a Palestinian gunman in the Gaza Strip before dawn on Saturday, and remains were found of another man killed in an earlier attack, medics in the Hamas Islamist controlled territory said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed an aerial attack was launched under cover of darkness against Gaza militants preparing to fire a rocket at Israel, east of Gaza City. One gunman was wounded, a rescue crew member in Gaza said.

Israel has stepped up its air strikes on coastal Gaza this week in response to a resurgence in rocket strikes at Israeli towns that have caused no injuries, but have damaged some property.

Palestinian medics said they recovered the body of a man in his twenties killed in a separate air strike on Thursday against tunnels dug beneath Gaza’s border with Egypt. Israel says the tunnels are used to smuggle weapons.

The Israeli military has said a total of 16 rockets fired from Gaza have struck Israel this month some of which damaged buildings. Palestinians said Israel has fired 10 missiles at its gunmen this month.

Some Israeli media analysts see the renewed cross-border friction as possibly stemming from the latest snags in Hamas’s efforts to reconcile with President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, alongside failed Western attempts to renew stalled Middle East peace talks.

Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Jon Hemming

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