An Israeli airstrike has killed a man in the Gaza Strip reported to be the leader of an al Qaeda-linked militant group. The strike was the latest in a series of recent incidents.
Palestinian officials quoted by news agencies identified the victim of the strike as Hisham al-Saedni, who is believed to have been the head of the Mujahideen Shura Council. The Salafist group is a rival to the militant Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007.
A statement released by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) did not confirm whether Saedni was the target of the strike, but described him and another man killed as "terror operatives of the Mujahideen Shura Council, a Gaza-based Global Jihad affiliate."
Medics said the two men had been killed while riding a motorcycle in the northern Gaza town of Jabaliya. A 12-year-old bystander was reported injured.
The Mujahideen Shura Council group claimed responsibility for launching a rocket attack on the town of Netivot in southern Israel on Friday, which caused damage but no casualties.
A few hours after the rocket attack, Israel responded with three airstrikes on Gaza that the IDF said had targeted "terror activity sites." Those attacks also caused no casualties.
These were just the latest in a growing number of incidents in recent days.
pfd/ch ( Reuters, AFP)