Gaza, Sept. 26 (Reuters): Israeli helicopter gunships fired missiles into Gaza City today, killing two Palestinians in an escalation of violence that could dismay the US as it seeks Arab support for a possible war against Iraq.
The airstrike occurred as the Israeli government defended its week-long siege of Palestinian President Yasser Arafatís headquarters against world criticism, saying it was preventing an increase in Palestinian violence planned in anticipation of a US campaign against Baghdad.
Israeli security sources confirmed the missile attack and said the target was a leading Palestinian militant responsible for suicide bombings. The names of the dead were not known.
Witnesses said a car took a direct hit, and explosions set fire to a second vehicle. Gaza hospital officials said at least 27 people were wounded, six of them seriously.
The two cars were reduced to tangles of metal.
Local residents pulled body parts from the smoking wreckage and held them aloft, shouting in fury.