updated 4/14/2008 8:24:47 PM ET 2008-04-15T00:24:47

A senior Palestinian militant was killed late Monday when an Israeli airstrike hit his vehicle in northern Gaza, witnesses and officials said.

A man identified by witnesses as Ibrahim Abu Olba, 42, from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was hit in a missile blast as he was getting out of his car.

The victim, whose small militant faction that has claimed responsibility for recent rocket attacks against Israel, died of his wounds in a Gaza hospital, Dr. Moaiya Hassanain of the Palestinian Health Ministry said. Three bystanders were also hurt.

The Israeli military confirmed that it carried out the strike targeting Abu Olba, who it said had been involved in a string of attacks against Israel and was planning more. Israel often targets suspected militants with airstrikes, often aiming for rocket squads or their commanders.

The vehicle was hit in the town of Beit Lahiya near the Israel-Gaza border.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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