UPDATE 1-Palestinian Killed in Gaza by Targeted Israeli Airstrike

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 04:47 AM

(Adds Israeli government spokesman, details about Palestinian's identity)

GAZA, April 30 (Reuters) - An Israeli airstrike killed a Palestinian and wounded another in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, medics said, in the first targeted attack against militants since a ceasefire ended an eight-day war in November.

An Israeli government spokesman said the military had hit a "jihadi who was an expert in manufacturing rockets".

He added that the man had "played a role" in a rocket attack from Egypt's Sinai peninsula against Israel's Red Sea resort of Eilat on April 17, which had caused no damage or injuries.

Locals in Gaza named the dead man as Haitham Al-Mes-hal, 29, saying he was hit while riding a motorcycle in the north of the enclave. He was believed to be a member of Hamas's national security force, but relatives said he also belonged to a militant Jihadist Salafi organisation.

Islamist militants in Gaza have fired intermittently at Israel in the past weeks despite an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire reached after the November conflict.

Hamas, an Islamist group close to the Muslim Brotherhood now ruling neighbouring Egypt, has cracked down on hardline Salafist rivals it sees as jeopardising its control of the Gaza Strip.

It was not immediately clear if Tuesday's strike would unleash a renewed round of violence. The attack came just two days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had warned of a strong response to sporadic rocket fire into Israel.

In an unrelated incident on Tuesday in the nearby occupied West Bank, a Palestinian killed a settler in the first such incident since 2011.

(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller; editng by Crispian Balmer)

© 2018 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, 30 April 2013 04:47 AM
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