A Palestinian health official says an Israeli airstrike has killed three men and injured another in east Gaza City.

Dr. Moaiya Hassanain, an official at the Gaza Health Ministry, says the men were traveling in a car when it was struck by a missile Friday evening.

An Israeli military spokesman said "the military targeted three terrorists in the Gaza strip on their way to launch rockets at Israel." The official spoke on condition of anonymity, following military policy.

The militant group Islamic Jihad said the men belonged to their organization but denied they were on a rocket launching mission.

Israel carried out an offensive in December and January aimed at stopping daily rocket fire by Gaza militants on Israeli towns, but sporadic violence persists.