Palestinian dies in Israeli air strike

Gaza City - An Israeli air strike on the northern Gaza Strip killed a Palestinian and wounded three others on Monday, the emergency services in the Hamas-run enclave said.

Emergency services chief Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP that Musaad Alzaneen, a man in his early 20s, was killed in the raid on farmland near the town of Beit Hanoun.

A Palestinian boy watches people pass the al-Naser mosque in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem. Credit: REUTERS

The Israeli military spokesman's office said it was checking the report.

Channel 2 Israeli commercial television said Israeli aircraft attacked a squad of Palestinian militants preparing to fire rockets across the border into the Jewish state.

Israeli media had earlier reported a failed rocket attack, with the projectile apparently falling short and landing within the Gaza Strip.

On Friday an Israeli air strike destroyed a rocket launch site in Gaza “to eliminate an imminent threat against Israel,” the army said at the time.

No casualties were reported in the attack.

Tensions have risen in and around Gaza after a year of relative calm.

An increase in Israeli raids and Palestinian rocket attacks as well as border incidents in the past few weeks raise the possibility of a major new confrontation between Israel and Hamas.

Monday's incidents occurred as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met US President Barack Obama to discuss the future of the peace process with the Palestinians.

Hamas, the Islamist movement that ousted the Western-backed Palestinian Authority from Gaza in 2007, opposes a peace deal.