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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 May, 2003, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
Hamas member killed in Gaza
Israeli helicopter (archive)
Israel has mounted rocket attacks on cars before

Rockets fired from an Israeli helicopter have struck a car in Gaza City, killing a member of the armed wing of Islamic militant group Hamas.

Palestinian sources named the dead man as Iyad al-Bayk who was reportedly responsible for securing and hiding militants.

"One [rocket] hit the car from the front and the other from behind," witness Imad Mouhmmed told AP news agency. "There were pieces of human flesh flying into the air."

The incident comes two days before US Secretary of State Colin Powell is due to arrive in the region to promote a new peace plan.

Smoke billowed from the scene of the attack in which three rockets were fired, Palestinians sources say.

AFP news agency said an Apache helicopter had swooped on the car in Gaza City's northern Rimal district.

Responding to the attack, Hamas spokesman Abdul Aziz Rantisi warned there would be "severe reprisals".

Southern flash-point

Earlier on Thursday, Israeli troops killed a Palestinian near the Khan Younis refugee camp in the south of the Gaza Strip.

The man was approaching the Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim and had ignored warnings to stop, the army said.

On Wednesday, troops shot dead a one-year-old Palestinian in Khan Younis in what they called a "very unfortunate incident".

The army said that soldiers guarding Neve Dekalim had returned fire after coming under attack from inside the camp.




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