Israel has launched an air strike in the Gaza Strip, killing one Palestinian and wounding two others, medics said.
The militants apparently leapt from the car before it exploded
The Islamic Jihad group said it was an attempt to kill one of its leaders. Israel said it attacked militants on their way to strike Israeli territory.
Medical sources said the dead man was a teacher on his way to school when he got caught up in the attack.
Islamic Jihad members frequently fire rockets across Gaza's perimeter fence into southern Israel.
The group often says it is retaliating for Israeli military action, either in Gaza or in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli aircraft fired three missiles at two vehicles travelling along Gaza's coastal highway near the town of Deir al-Balah, one of which was hit.
Palestinian officials had initially said two people died in the attack and sent them to the mortuary.
But a doctor at the mortuary found them to be still alive and sent them to hospital to be operated on, although one of them died some hours later. The condition of the other man is thought to be still critical.
On Wednesday, Palestinian security forces said they had foiled a major attack on the Karni border crossing between Israel and Gaza.
Six Palestinian security men were reported wounded in a shootout with the assailants. The men then fled leaving behind an explosives-laden vehicle, which officials said was intended to ram the border post.
Separately, Israeli forces arrested at least 17 Palestinians in overnight raids across the West Bank.
The official Palestinian news agency said 13 of them had been arrested in Yamun near the town of Jenin during an operation to search houses. The agency said five of those arrested were children. Israeli reports said the detainees were suspected militants.