Palestinian militant injured in Israel airstrike dies

Smoke billows from the Gaza Strip as an Israeli army tank monitors the area on the southern Israel-Gaza border Friday.

Story highlights

  • The militant was one of four Palestinians injured on Friday, Gaza sources say
  • Israel says it was responding to rocket fire out of Gaza
  • Seven Palestinians are injured in a new Israeli strike, a Gaza medical source says
  • The latest round of violence follows the Israeli handover of Palestinian bodies

A Palestinian militant died Sunday after he was injured in an Israeli airstrike, security and medical sources in Gaza said.

The man was one of four members of the militant group the Popular Resistance Committee injured Friday when the Israeli air force responded to rocket attacks on its territory.

Separately, seven Palestinians were injured in an overnight Israeli airstrike on a house in Gaza, emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Silmya said Sunday. Israel did not immediately comment on the reported strike.

The latest round of violence began early Friday when a Palestinian militant crossed into Israel and killed a soldier near southern Gaza.

The Palestinian gunman "was identified infiltrating Israel" and was shot dead after he fired on Israeli soldiers, a military spokesman said in a statement.

The Israel Defense Forces named the dead soldier as Staff Sgt. Netanel Moshiashvili.

The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad initially claimed responsibility for the attack and identified the gunman as Ahmed abu Nasser. He was on a mission to hunt and capture an Israeli soldier, according to a statement released by the group.

    Group officials said the gunman entered an Israeli military base and overcome a soldier before he was taken down by other forces.

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    Shortly after making that statement, the group's spokesman retracted it, saying it now denies responsibility.

    The body of the gunman was delivered by the Israeli authorities back to Gaza on Friday afternoon, security forces in Gaza said.

    The latest violence comes a day after the Israeli government, in what has been described as a humanitarian gesture, handed over the remains of 91 Palestinians killed in attacks against Israeli targets over the past four decades.

    The remains of 79 Palestinians were delivered to the seat of the Palestinian government in Ramallah, West Bank, where Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas presided over an official military ceremony.

    Twelve bodies were to be delivered to families in Gaza.

    Israel imposed an economic blockade of Gaza when the militant group Hamas took charge in 2007. It says the blockade is needed to stop the transit of weaponry to be used by militants in attacks on Israel.

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