An Israeli aircraft struck a Palestinian militant safe house at a beach camp near Gaza City (search) on Monday, wounding three fighters, the militant group said.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

A spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committee (search) said the airstrike was aimed at a house used by Abed Quka, the group's leader in northern Gaza.

White smoke rose high from the building, and a large crowd quickly gathered around the house at the Shati Refugee Camp near the Gaza beach.

The Popular Resistance Committee is an umbrella group of militants who left various other Palestinian factions.

It was believed to be responsible for the killing of three American security guards in the northern Gaza Strip in October.

Israel frequently uses helicopter gunships to attack militants in Gaza.