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Israeli airstrike kills militant leader in Gaza

An Israeli military airstrike killed a local commander of the Islamic Jihad militant group in Gaza despite a ceasefire announced late Sunday.

An Israeli military airstrike killed a local commander of the Islamic Jihad militant group in Gaza despite a ceasefire announced late Sunday.

Israel's military said in a statement that the man who was killed had smuggled weapons into the Gaza town of Rafah, and was involved in militant activity in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, near Israel's southern border, where gunmen entered Israel and killed eight last week.  

No further information was provided by the military.

However, BBC reports that the Israeli missile hit the car of Ismael al-Ismar, a leader of al-Quds Brigades in Rafah, close to the Egyptian border.

Palestinian medics also said the militant died when his car exploded. Two other people were also reportedly wounded.

Shortly after the attack on the commander's car, militants fired mortars from northern Gaza into southern Israel. However, no injuries were reported.

A Hamas official announced the ceasefire late Sunday to stop three days of violence.

The truce was to go into effect that evening, but it wasn't clear if the ceasefire had the backing of all of Gaza's armed factions.

Violence between Israel and militants in Gaza has flared since the deadly attack on Israeli buses last week that killed eight.

With files from The Associated Press, BBC