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Israel launches 'deadly air strike' on Gaza

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Israel-attacks-GazaThe Israeli military says it has carried out a ground and air attack near the border fence in northern Gaza.

At least one person was killed and three injured, Palestinian medical sources said. The Israeli military said aircraft and tanks had targeted a "terrorist squad" planting an explosive device near the security fence.

The operation follows a period of relative calm along the border, says the BBC's Wyre Davies in Jerusalem.

There were dozens of similar incidents last year and Israel says it will not hesitate to step up attacks against the Palestinian factions - especially if there is evidence of weapons being smuggled in to Gaza from Egypt, our correspondent says.

'One martyr'

Palestinian sources said the raid took place close to the border with Israel, in an area east of the northern town of Beit Hanoun.

"We recovered one martyr and two other people with injuries after the air raid carried out by occupation aircraft in Beit Hanoun," Palestinian medical spokesman Adham Abu Selmiya told AFP news agency - identifying the victim as Mohammed Abu Awda, 23.

Mr Selmiya said one of the injured was in critical condition.

In its statement, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said "hits were confirmed" in the operation, adding that the explosive device had been detonated.

"The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians, and will operate against anyone who uses terror against the State of Israel," it said in a statement.

It said the Islamist Hamas movement - which governs Gaza - was "solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip".

(BBC news)