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Gaza airstrike kills 3 Palestinian militants, medics say

By The CNN Wire Staff
  • Islamic Jihad members were killed in the raid, Palestinian medical officials said
  • Israel says the militants were planning to fire rockets out of Gaza

(CNN) -- An Israeli airstrike on Gaza killed three Palestinian militants Monday night, Palestinian medical officials said.

Those killed were members of Islamic Jihad, the officials said. They were at an observation post in the Bureij refugee camp, south of Gaza City, when they were hit about 11:45 p.m. (5:45 p.m. ET), they said.

The Israeli miltary said its aircraft struck at a group of "terrorist operatives" who were planning to launch rockets over the border into Israeli territory.

Palestinian officials said a second airstrike on the territory struck the home of a leader of the Islamic militant group Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, but no injuries were reported. An Israeli military spokesman said that only one airstrike had been carried out, however.

Israel pounded Gaza for nearly a month in late 2008 and early 2009 in an effort to stop Palestinian rocket attacks aimed at Israeli towns. Periodic rocket attacks have continued since then, as have Israeli airstrikes on the territory.

The Israel Defense Forces said that 150 rockets and mortar shells have been launched from Gaza into Israel since the beginning of 2010.

Journalist Kareem Khadder contributed to this report for CNN.