Gaza militants, Gaza war  -Reuters
Members of Palestinian armed factions stand guard during a news conference held to mark the second anniversary of Israel's three-week offensive in Gaza, in Gaza City December 27, 2010. Photo by Reuters
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A missile fired by an Israeli aircraft hit and wounded two Palestinian militants, killing one of them, as well as wounding a number of bystanders in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday, Palestinian hospital officials said.

The militants were riding a motorcycle near the town of Rafah which borders Egypt's Sinai peninsula. One of them and a bystander were in a critical condition, the officials said.

The bystanders included three children, a woman and an elderly man.

The Israel Defense Forces said the two militants were members of "Global Jihadist" groups based in the Gaza Strip who had for years attacked Israeli civilians and troops and were also involved in weapons manufacturing.

The IDF named the two men as Talat Jarbi and Mohammed Makawi and indicated the strike was aimed specifically at them. The Palestinians said that Talat Jarbi was killed in the strike.

There was no immediate comment from Hamas on the strike, but in the past Gaza's ruling faction has accused Israel of escalating violence in the Gaza Strip and provoking militants to carry out further attacks.

Last month, the Israel Air Force killed two Palestinian militants and seriously wounded another in the Gaza Strip. The dead were members of the extremist group Islamic Jihad, said Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman for Gaza's Health Ministry.

They were riding in a car in the city of Rafah near the border with Egypt when their vehicle was struck by two rockets, al-Qedra said.