GAZA, (Reuters) – An Israeli military strike in the northern Gaza Strip killed two people on Friday, Palestinian security services and witnesses said.
The Israeli army said it could not release details on the attack but said it had targeted two men suspected of involvement in firing rockets into Israel.
An army spokeswoman said the two had been hit as they were collecting a launcher that had been used several times over the past week to fire rockets from northern Gaza. She said they had been targeted by ground forces, not from the air, but would not confirm what sort of weaponry was used.
Witnesses said the two were teenage boys who were passing by on bicycles and were hit after stopping to look at the rocket launcher out of curiosity.
Israel has been pressing an offensive in Gaza for the past three months, since militants kidnapped an Israeli soldier in a cross-border operation. The soldier is still being held.
Around 220 Palestinians have been killed in the offensive, around half of them civilians, according to Palestinian medics and research groups.
As well as seeking to secure the release of the soldier, Israel says the offensive is designed to stop militants firing makeshift rockets into Israel.
The rockets, fired by groups including Islamic Jihad and Hamas, the militant group that runs the Palestinian government, have a short range and are inaccurate, but have caused light injuries and panic in towns near the Gaza border.