Israel assassinates 3 members of Hamas military wing

An Israeli air strike has killed three Palestinians in the southern Gaza Strip early, medical officials and the Israeli army said.

Residents said early Saturday’s target was a car driving between the town of Khan Yunis and the Deir al-Balah refugee camp.

An Israeli military spokesman said the raid, planned jointly with the Shin Bet domestic security agency, was a preemptive strike against militants planning to kidnap Israelis during the coming Jewish festival of Passover.

“significant escalation”

Hamas’ military wing, Izz al-Din al-Qassam, announced that the three that were assassinated by the IDF earlier Saturday in the Gaza Strip were members of its group , but did not publish their identities .

In its statement, Izz al-Din al-Qassam said that the strike marks a “significant escalation” and that Israel will be held accountable for its actions.

Al jazeera, AFP