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Israeli airstrike kills 3 Palestinians in southern Gaza

March 11, 2014 11:53 A.M. (Updated: March 12, 2014 7:35 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- An Israeli airstrike killed three Palestinians in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, an official said.

Gaza Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma'an that three Palestinian resistance fighters were killed by the airstrike in southeast Khan Younis near the Sufa crossing.

Al-Qidra identified the victims as Ismail Abu Judah, 23, Shahir Abu Shanab, 24, and 33-year-old Abd al-Shafi Muammar.

The bodies were taken to the European Hospital in Khan Younis, al-Qidra said.

Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, said in a statement that the victims were militants affiliated to the group.

"They were in confrontation with the occupation trying to stop the progress of Israeli military vehicles which were approaching the area," the statement said.

The Israeli army said in a statement that "terrorists affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the southern Gaza Strip fired a mortar shell at IDF forces."

"An IAF aircraft responded immediately in order to prevent further attacks on Israeli civilians and targeted the terrorist squad. Direct hits were confirmed, the army statement said.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, an Israeli drone fell in the area of the attack.

The airstrikes came just hours after Palestinian security sources said a man died after Israeli soldiers fired at him while he was driving near the West Bank city of Tulkarem.

The Israeli army also killed two Palestinians in the West Bank on Monday.

Israeli soldiers shot and killed 18-year-old Saji Darwish near Ramallah late Monday, after he allegedly threw stones at Israeli vehicles.

Earlier, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian-Jordanian judge at the Allenby Bridge crossing with Jordan.

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