Two Palestinians were killed and two others wounded early on Sunday in an Israeli airstrike on the northern Gaza Strip, witnesses and medical sources said.

The witnesses said the four were hit in an area near the Sodaneya neighbourhood of the northern Gaza Strip as they were trying to launch a homemade projectile from the area at southern Israel. The witnesses

added that a huge explosion was heard in the area before dawn and they found one Palestinians killed and three wounded, one of them in critical condition. Ambulances were immediately called to scene and evacuated them to hospital.

Hamas security sources said the identity of the militants was not immediately known.

Adham Abu Selmeya, spokesman of the medical services in Hamas-run health ministry, told reporters that one of the wounded later died in hosptial. The other two were in moderate condition.

Leaders of various Palestinian factions, including Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip and its rival Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas, held a meeting in Gaza on Saturday to study a unified position towards the current Israeli measures in the West Bank.

Meanwhile the Israeli military issued a statement confirming the attack, in which the forces had struck “a squad of terror operatives who were preparing to fire rockets from the Northern Gaza strip into Israel.”

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