The Israeli army has said it killed three Palestinian terrorists in an airstrike in the Gaza Strip last week, and Palestinian officials have called the attack a “war crime.”
The attack on May 25 killed three civilians and wounded nine, including a pregnant woman.
The Palestinian security services said it was a “terrorist attack,” while Israel said the strike was carried out by “terrorists.”
The IDF said the three civilians were killed in an attack in the Khan Younis neighborhood of the northern Gaza Strip, after the terrorist group Hamas attacked an Israeli military base.
A Palestinian source told Al Jazeera that three militants from Hamas entered the base and began firing at the Israeli forces.
One of the militants then detonated a bomb in the area, killing one soldier, and injuring four others, he said.
Another Palestinian source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the two other militants were killed by the Israeli air force.
“The terrorists who carried out the attack were from Hamas and it is evident that they were trained in Gaza,” said the source, who spoke on condition that his name not be published for security reasons.
“They entered the military facility and attacked the military vehicles, destroying them.
After the attack, they detonated a suicide belt.”
The Palestinian source added that a Palestinian medical source said a “truck carrying medical equipment” was also destroyed in the attack.
“There are no reports of any casualties among the terrorists,” he said, adding that no Israeli soldiers were injured.
“It was a suicide attack by a terrorist group that took advantage of the situation,” said a senior Palestinian official.
Israel has said the attack was carried “under the banner of the Palestinian terror organisation Hamas.”
Israelis have long been accused of targeting Palestinian civilians in Gaza, often with no evidence and without having the necessary intelligence to do so.
“Israel is the world’s most powerful military state,” said Jamal Abu Jabbal, a former Palestinian member of the UN Security Council, on Sunday.
“What is happening is a war crime, and it’s very serious.”
The latest incident comes as Israel has been intensifying its offensive in Gaza.
Israel said it launched its most extensive offensive since 2014 against Hamas militants in the coastal enclave, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
It has targeted more than 700 targets in Gaza since then, and on Monday, it said it had hit a number of locations in the southern coastal strip.
Israel is also seeking to increase pressure on Hamas, which the UN says is responsible for a wide range of attacks, including rocket attacks and suicide bombings.
Israel’s offensive began in earnest after Hamas militants launched rockets and mortar attacks on Israel and the West Bank in response to an Israeli strike on a border outpost.
Israel says it targeted Hamas militants and militants of the Islamic Jihad group in retaliation.
Hamas militants fired rockets at Israel in the latest wave of violence, as Israel launched an assault on the enclave on Saturday.
Israel says the operation, Operation Protective Edge, was necessary to stop Hamas launching rockets at the territory.
Hamas has denied this.