Israeli missile hits car, militants escape
GAZA: An Israeli drone fired a missile into a car carrying two Hamas militants in Gaza on Tuesday, but both escaped without serious injury, witnesses said.
Some passers-by suffered minor wounds, they said, in the incident in the city of Khan Younis, a stronghold of militants who often fire mortar bombs and rockets at nearby Jewish settlements.
Palestinian security sources said the Hamas men were apparently en route to staging an attack on part of the fortified Gush Katif settlement bloc nearby when they were spotted by a patrolling drone and targeted.
There was no immediate Israeli army comment. Israeli Army Radio said the missile was fired at suspected mortar-launching crews in Khan Younis, but no casualties resulted. Israeli tanks and troops have raided Khan Younis repeatedly to kill or capture militants behind constant rocket and mortar salvoes against settlements.
But the attacks by the elusive, mobile mortar squads have persisted, although they only rarely cause casualties.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon intends to evacuate all 8,000 settlers from among 1.3 million Palestinians in Gaza next year under his plan to ‘disengage’ from conflict in some occupied territory, but vows to smash militant groups first. reuters