| GEO World|
| Three civilians killed in Gaza air raid|
| Updated at: 0035 PST, Saturday, September 26, 2009|
GAZA CITY: Three Palestinians were killed on Friday in an Israeli air strike north of Gaza City, medical sources and witnesses said.
Another three were reported to have been seriously wounded. All six had been in a vehicle that was targeted by two Israeli helicopters, the sources said.
The same sources said that at least four of the victims belonged to the radical Islamic Jihad group.
Those killed were named as Kamel al-Banna, Mohammed Marshoud and Kamal al-Dahtur, the son of an Islamic Jihad commander killed in an Israeli raid two years ago.
A military spokesman confirmed to media that Israeli aircraft "attacked three terrorists who were preparing to fire rockets" at Israel.
"All three belong to a cell responsible for several rocket attacks on Israel, including two recent launches aimed at the town of Sderot" in the southern Negev desert, he said.
"Over the past three months, 50 rockets have been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip," the spokesman said. "More than 250 have been fired since the end of our offensive against Gaza" in December and January.
He added that in 2008 before Israel launched "Operation Cast Lead", "no fewer than 3,350 rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel."
Abu Ahmed, spokesman for Islamic Jihad's military wing the Al-Quds Brigades, told media that the group would "very soon exact revenge for this criminal raid" by the Israeli air force.