Israel kills Palestinian man in 1st deadly air strike since November cease-fire

Israeli security agents investigate the scene of a rocket attack in Eilat, Israel, April 17, 2013. AP

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip A Palestinian medical official says an Israeli air strike has targeted a motorcyclist in the Gaza Strip, killing one Palestinian and wounding two people.

Ashraf al-Kidra, Gaza's health ministry spokesman, says the killed man was identified as a 29-year-old police officer.

But Israel's military said the air strike had targeted an Islamic militant who was involved in a recent rocket attack on the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat.

The Israeli military confirmed the air strike and identified the target as Hithem Ziad Ibrahim Masshal, 24, who the Israeli Defense Forces accused of acting "in different Jihad Salafi terror organizations and over the past few years has been a key terror figure, specializing in weapons and working with all of the terror organizations in the Gaza Strip." The statement confirmed "a direct hit."

Tuesday's attack was the first deadly air strike carried out by Israel since a November cease-fire.

Nobody was hurt in the rocket attack on the tourist-rich resort town of Eilat, although one rocket exploded near the courtyard of a house, police said at the time. A shadowy hard-line Muslim group, likely based in the Gaza Strip, claimed responsibility for the attack.

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