BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli airstrike on Wednesday killed two Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip including one accused by Israel of ordering rocket attacks, officials said.
Eyewitnesses said Israeli aircraft fired a missile at a car in Beit Hanoun carrying Ahmed Zaanin, 21, and Mahmoud Zaanin, 23, killing them both. They were transported to hospital by ambulance.
The Israeli army described Ahmed as a "terrorist operative" belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and involved in recent attacks against Israel and in the planning of "further attacks in the coming days."
The army accused him of organizing rocket attacks against Israel during the funeral of former prime minister Ariel Sharon on Jan. 15.
"To tolerate Gaza rocket attacks would be to succumb to extremist aggression. It is the IDF's moral obligation and right to defend its soldiers and civilians from the deadly actions and intentions of terrorists of the likes of Zaanin," said Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner in an emailed statement.
Islamic Jihad's military wing said in the a statement that both men were affiliated with the group.
"The blood of martyrs will not be in vain, but a curse that chases the occupier everywhere," the al-Quds Brigades said. more