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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 December 2005, 01:48 GMT
Israeli strike kills four in Gaza
Palestinians gather around the wreckage of the attacked car
The attack is the latest targeted strike on suspected militants
At least four Palestinians have been killed and several wounded in an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip.

Israel said it targeted a car carrying four militants who were on their way to launch a strike on Israeli targets.

The car was travelling near the Karni crossing, the main cargo passage between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Just hours later, a second Israeli air strike wounded Islamic Jihad leader Khader Habib as he travelled in a car in Gaza City, witnesses said.

Israel has stepped up targeted strikes on members of Palestinian militant groups following a suicide bombing in the town of Netanya earlier this month.

Islamic Jihad - a Palestinian militant group - claimed responsibility for the attack, in which five Israelis were killed.

Revenge threat

An unmanned Israeli drone fired two missiles at the car near the Karni crossing, ripping it apart, witnesses said.

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Israel said the car had been carrying four members of the Popular Resistance Committees, a coalition of militants, who were "on the way to carrying out an attack against an Israeli target".

A military spokeswoman said that the size of the blast "shows that explosives were being transported in the vehicle".

Abu Abir of the Popular Resistance Committees was quoted by Reuters news agency as urging Israelis in a town near Gaza "to flee their homes because soon our rockets will target them."


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