Gaza City, April 12 (AFP) A fighter from the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas was killed today by an Israeli strike in the Gaza Strip, the health ministry in the enclave said.

Mohammed Hijaila was killed and another man seriously wounded early today during the airstrike, the health ministry in the Hamas-controlled enclave said, confirming he was a member of the movement’s militant wing.

A security source said he was one of a number of Hamas fighters manning an observation point east of Gaza City when it was struck early today.

Israel confirmed the strikes, saying they were retaliation for gun fire.

The Hamas fighters were apparently shooting at an Israeli jet, which was carrying out strikes in Gaza in response to an explosive device at Israel’s border fence yesterday.

“In response to the explosive device that was detonated against an engineering vehicle of the (army) yesterday, Israeli fighter jets struck military targets in the Gaza Strip,” the Israeli army said in a statement.

“After the strike, a terror cell fired with machine guns at an (Israeli) aircraft, without actually harming it. (Israeli) aircraft intercepted the terror cell.” At least 32 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed by Israeli forces since March 30.

Most died during major protests along the border but others have been hit by tank fire.

Islamists Hamas have controlled Gaza since 2007 and have fought three wars with Israel since. (AFP) MRJ MRJ

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.