IMAGE: Car destroyed by Israeli strike
Hatem Moussa  /  AP
A vehicle allegedly used by Palestinian militants burns in Gaza after being hit by an Israeli airstrike on Thursday.
updated 4/27/2006 6:56:20 AM ET 2006-04-27T10:56:20

Israeli aircraft fired three missiles at targets in the central Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing one Palestinian militant and critically wounding another, Palestinian health officials said.

The army said the airstrikes were aimed at a cell preparing to carry out an attack. It did not identify the targets. It said two vehicles were targeted, and one was hit.

Palestinian officials initially said the two men were dead after they were taken to the morgue by an ambulance. But a doctor at the morgue found them to be alive and sent them to the operating room.

Later, Dr. Baker Abu Safia confirmed that Wael Nassar, 23, of Islamic Jihad had died of his wounds. Ahmad Abu Najam, 23, another Islamic Jihad militant, remained in critical condition.

Group vows revenge
Islamic Jihad, who identified the men as senior field operatives in its military wing, vowed to take revenge for the strike.

“God willing out reprisal is coming and it is going to be like air shaking,” spokesman Abu Ahmad said. “We are going to shake the air under their feet. They had experienced us in Tel Aviv and more is coming.”

Islamic Jihad, a small group with ties to Iran and Syria, claimed responsibility for last week’s suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that killed nine and wounded dozens.

During more than five years of fighting, Israel has killed dozens of militants in targeted airstrikes. The attacks also have killed or wounded dozens of civilians.

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