Palestinian dead after Israel launches targeted Gaza airstrike

Photo: Palestinian dead after Israel launches targeted Gaza airstrike / Israel

A Palestinian militant was reported dead Sunday after the Israel Air Force fired a rocket at a motorcycle traveling in the northern Gaza Strip, officials said, dpa reported.

Two other Palestinians were injured - a young man in critical condition and a 12-year-old boy wounded in the knee - health officials said.

The Israeli military confirmed the targeted killing. It said the target, Ahmad Sa'ad, was "involved in recent attacks against Israel and was planning further attacks in the coming days.

It described Sa'ad as a senior member of the radical Islamic Jihad movement.

Locals in Gaza confirmed the fatality was an Islamic Jihad member.

The Israeli military said Sa'ad was "personally responsible" for the launch of five rockets towards the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon on Thursday. Those were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

Sa'ad's activities included "concealing, directing, and launching rockets at southern Israel in numerous incidents," including during a November 2012 Gaza offensive and another flare-up in violence in March 2012.

Gaza militants must know that there is a personal price to pay when planning and executing attacks against Israel, said Israeli military spokesman Peter Lerner. "There is no immunity," warned the lieutenant colonel.

Earlier Sunday, Israel launched two more airstrikes in Gaza which caused no injuries. Those were in response to a rocket fired late Saturday from the strip.

Two sites in the southern and central Gaza Strip near the border with Israel used by militants to launch rockets at Israel were struck.

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