Israeli airstrike kills two Palestinian militants

An Israeli airstrike targeted a car in Gaza City on Tuesday, killing two militants, witnesses and the military said. Hospital officials said two men in the car were killed, and their bodies were mangled in the blast. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a violent offshoot of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, identified the two as Mohammed Abu Shariya and Suheil Jaber, both in their early 20s and senior commanders in the group.

The Israeli military said it targeted a car carrying Al Aqsa militants who were involved in firing rockets at Israel. Al Aqsa officials said Israel had targeted them several times before.

A witness, Ahman Barhoom, said he was driving about 200 meters (yards) behind the car when it exploded. "A strong explosion went off in car, in the upper part of car, the front windows of my car were smashed and the car was like a big ball of fire," he said.

An Al Aqsa spokesman who identified himself only as Abu Qussi threatened revenge against Israel. "This is an open battle, we are ready and determined to continue to the end," he said outside the morgue where the bodies were taken. In recent days Israel has stepped up airstrikes aimed at Palestinian militants said to be connected to firing rockets at Israel from Gaza, reports the AP.

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