Israeli Warplane Conducts Gaza Airstrikes

Masked Palestinian militants stand next to burning tires creating smoke to block Israeli aircrafts' view, during an Israeli army operation in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008.
AP Photo/Khalil Hamra
Israeli aircraft struck two targets in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, including the home of a senior Palestinian militant killed by Israeli troops last month, Palestinian officials said.

Palestinian medical officials said the house was empty, but nine bystanders were lightly wounded. The explosion sent a plume of black smoke into the air, and panicked residents in the crowded neighborhood raced out of their homes, fearing further attacks.

The blast left a large hole on the second floor of the home, and destroyed its windows and front door. Cars parked nearby were destroyed, and windows of neighboring homes were shattered.

Officials with the ruling Hamas militant group said the home belonged to Karim Dadouh, a master rocket maker from the Islamic Jihad militant group who was killed in an Israeli airstrike last month. The home is next to a Hamas training base.

The second airstrike struck a partially built home that belonged to Mohammed Abdullah, another militant commander killed by Israel last week.

The Israeli army confirmed one airstrike, but gave no details on the target.

In southern Gaza, residents said Israeli forces attacked a warehouse in the town of Rafah. There were no reports of injuries.