Gaza City: Israeli warplanes targeted a group of Palestinian militants in the central Gaza Strip on Sunday, killing three gunmen, the Army and Palestinian medics said.
The Israeli military said they targeted the group "as they were preparing to fire rockets into Israel."
"We won't tolerate the firing of rockets into Israel and we will respond harshly as we did now," a military spokesman said.
Earlier, Palestinians fired four mortar rounds at southern Israel, without causing casualties.
The air raid struck east of Deir el-Balah in central Gaza, and the bodies of the three were taken to a hospital in the town, said Muawiya Hassanein, head of Gaza emergency services.
The dead were all members of the militant Islamic Jihad group, he said.
It was the latest violence along Gaza's border, which has been mostly quiet since a war Israel launched on the Islamist Hamas in Gaza on December 27, 2008, in response to rocket fire ended with mutual ceasefires on January 18, 2009.
The ceasefires have largely held, despite violations by both sides and Hamas has largely succeeded in restraining Islamic Jihad, their smaller Islamist rivals.
First Published: Monday, January 11, 2010, 09:41