JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Air Force attacked what it said was a terror squad planning to kidnap Israelis over the Passover holiday, killing three.
The airstrikes hit the men riding in a car in southern Gaza early Saturday morning.
It said in a statement that the three killed in the joint operation of the military and the Shin Bet security service were part of a terrorist squad intending to "execute kidnappings during the upcoming Passover holiday in the Sinai Peninsula and in Israel."
Hamas issued a statement saying the casualties were members of their organization and that it would take revenge for the strike.
Israel’s Counter-Terror Bureau later in the day called on Israelis to leave the Sinai Peninsula immediately, saying that Israeli intelligence agencies had concrete information of plans by terrorists to kidnap or attack Israelis vacationing there during Passover.
"Hamas continues to operate in every way possible in order to harm Israeli civilians," the Israel Defense Forces’ statement said.