One dead, two injured in Israeli airstrike on southern Gaza

Ma'an News Agency, Feb. 13, 2009

Gaza – Ma’an – A Palestinian was killed and two others were injured on Friday afternoon as Israeli warplanes targeted a motorcycle in the southern Gaza Strip.

The strikes occurred in the town of Abasan Al-Kabira, which is east of Khan Younis.

According to the de facto government Health Ministry’s director of Ambulance and Emergency Services, Muawiyah Hussanein, three Palestinians were taken to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.

One was pronounced dead on arrival while two others were injured, one seriously and another moderately.

The military group affiliated with the National Resistance Committees, the An-Nasser Salah Ad-Din Brigades, announced that the first Israeli airstrike on Abasan targeted a group of militants affiliated to the group, injuring two of them seriously.

Later on, Israeli warplanes carried out several raids targeting the border area between Egypt and southern Gaza in Rafah, injuring several others.

Earlier, a homemade projectile fired from the northern Gaza Strip landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council in southern Israel.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the attack, according to Israeli news reports.

About one hour later, two other projectiles hit Sderot in the western Negev, again without causing injuries or damage, according to Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

Hizbullah Brigades in Palestine claimed responsibility for attacking Sderot and the western Negev with two projectiles at dawn on Friday, according to a statement.

The two projectiles were launched toward Sderot and the western Negev at around 5:30am on Friday, the group said, insisting that more attacks on Israeli forces were still to come.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of the Hamas political bureau, said Egypt will announce a truce between Palestinians and Israelis within the next two days, according to a statement.

After making several contacts with other Palestinian factions and the Israeli side, Abu Marzouk confirmed to the Middle East News Agency on Thursday evening a deal is in the works.

"We have accepted the truce with the Israeli side for a year and a half, in which the six crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel will be opened, while Israel has to stop any military aggression," he said.

He added that there remain a number of obstacles to overcome, particularly a detainee swap, explaining that the truce has been isolated from the case of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

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