Three Gaza Palestinians were killed and 12 wounded late Tuesday in explosions, at least one of them the result of an Israeli airstrike, Palestinians and the Israeli military said.

In the first blast, an Israeli aircraft attacked a car in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip, the military said, and hospital officials said one person was killed and 12 wounded.

Two Palestinians were killed in a second blast nearby, also an apparent airstrike, but the military had no immediate comment.

In the first attack, the dead man and one of the wounded were in the car, hospital officials said, and the other wounded were bystanders. The military said it targeted a vehicle carrying two Hamas militants on their way to carry out an attack.

Residents said the blast caused a huge fire. An eyewitness, Salim Abu Jazer, 55, said the initial blast was followed by two smaller explosions in the car. The military said that showed it was carrying explosives.

Since an Israeli soldier was captured in a cross-border raid by Palestinian militants in late June, Israeli forces have been operating in Gaza, hunting militants.

Israeli airstrikes have targeted buildings the Israelis say are used by militants for making and storing weapons, as well as vehicles carrying suspected militants.

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