In a second attack on the same day, helicopters fired two missiles on a truck as it passed through central Gaza. Two men travelling in the vehicle, both thought to be members of Hamas’ military wing, and a passer-by were killed in the raid.
The violence on 20 October follows days of clashes in the Occupied Territories. The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) killed four Palestinians, including Tareq Abu al-Hussein, a senior Hamas member, in raids near Rafah on 18 October. In the West Bank one boy was killed and at least five others injured in a confrontation between the IDF and Palestinian youths.
The Israeli attacks are believed to be a reaction to the deaths of three Israeli soldiers shot by Palestinian militants from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade on 19 October. The group said they had attacked the soldiers ‘in response to the Zionist massacres against our people’.