Israel fires rocket at car in Gaza City
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GAZA CITY (CNN) -- The Israeli Air Force on Sunday launched a rocket at a car filled with members of Hamas' military wing in Gaza City, Palestinian security sources told CNN.
The occupants of the car, members of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, escaped uninjured, security sources said.
An Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman confirmed the IDF attacked "a group of militants" in Gaza City.
Shortly after the rocket explosion, another explosion occurred in a house, injuring two Palestinians, Palestinian sources said. The source of the explosion was unclear.
Earlier Sunday, the Israeli military said it had launched an airstrike targeting "a terror cell" in northern Gaza, which it said was attempting to launch a rocket attack into the Jewish state.
Three people were killed and one was wounded in the strike, Palestinian security sources said.
The incidents are part of an escalation of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians.
On Saturday, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades said it had resumed rocket strikes against Israel after a hiatus of more than a year.
Sunday's airstrike, the IDF said, was aimed at preventing the launching of Qassam rockets at Israel. "Earlier this morning, an Israeli man was severely wounded when a Qassam rocket landed next to a school in the city of Sderot," IDF said in a news release. "This was one of 48 rockets launched at Israel just over the weekend," which began on Friday.
The Palestinian Authority, the IDF said, "is fully responsible for any attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip. Unfortunately, it continues to take no action in order to prevent the daily attacks against Israeli civilians. The IDF will continue to act with determination and to employ all means at its disposal to combat terrorists and their infrastructure, in order to defend the citizens of Israel."
Hamas' announcement that it was resuming rocket strikes against Israel came in the wake of an artillery shell blast that killed eight Palestinians as they picnicked on a beach in northern Gaza on Friday. The incident sparked international outrage after news programs broadcast footage of a hysterical 7-year-old girl who survived the attack, but whose family members had been killed.
IDF has ordered that all artillery fire be stopped "until the incident is clarified" and an investigation completed.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday scheduled a July referendum on a proposal to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Hamas has refused to support the plan, drawn up by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, because it would implicitly recognize the state of Israel. The Hamas charter calls for Israel's destruction.
The proposal calls for a two-state solution, with Palestine made up of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem within the borders that existed before the 1967 war with Israel.
Ismail Haniyeh, Palestinian Authority prime minister, met with Abbas on Saturday night to discuss the referendum, an Abbas adviser said. They planned to resume their meeting on Sunday.
In addition, the parliament will convene on Monday to discuss the referendum's legality, the adviser said.
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