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Israeli air strike kills Hamas member in Gaza
Air strike targets post operated by Islamic movement's Executive Force in southern Gaza; two people injured in attack

An Israeli air strike killed a member of the Islamist Hamas movement and seriously wounded another two people overnight in the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medics said Saturday.

 

The air strike targeted a post operated by the Executive Force, a Hamas-run paramilitary group that has been policing the Gaza Strip since the Islamists seized power in June after a week of deadly street battles.

 

An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed the strike, adding that it was aimed at a site regularly used as a launchpad for mortar attacks and came after Hamas fired four rounds at southern Israel on Friday.

 

Since Hamas took power after routing its secular Fatah rivals, more than 1,000 rockets and mortar rounds have slammed into southern Israel, rarely causing casualties but creating a climate of fear.

 

The latest death brings the number of people killed since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in 2000 to 5,917, the vast majority of them Palestinians, according to an AFP tally.

 

On Tuesday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the government was moving closer to launching a major ground operation in Gaza to root out the militants behind the rocket fire.

 

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