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Palestinian killed in Israeli airstrike

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — An Israeli aircraft attacked a motorcycle in Gaza on Tuesday, killing a man who the military said was a top militant in a shadowy al-Qaida-influenced group who had been involved in a recent rocket attack on southern Israel.

It was the first deadly airstrike in Gaza since a truce was reached with Palestinian militants last November, and is the most serious test yet of the Egyptian-brokered agreement.

The strike came alongside the fatal stabbing of an Israeli settler in the West Bank, the first killing by a Palestinian of an Israeli in the territory in over a year.

The aircraft hit the motorcycle as it was traveling northwest of Gaza City, killing the driver and wounding a passenger. A bystander was also wounded, according to Gaza medical officials.

The Israeli military said it had successfully killed Haitham Mishal, describing him as a jihadi militant involved in an April 17 rocket attack on the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat and other violence. Ashraf al-Kidra, Gaza's Health Ministry spokesman, said Mishal was a policeman.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had warned in recent days that Israel would not tolerate rocket fire from either the Gaza Strip or Egypt's Sinai Desert.

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