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Israel: 'Key terror figure' killed in Gaza; father-of-five settler stabbed to death

Hatem Moussa / AP

Relatives of a man killed by an Israeli airstrike mourn during his funeral Tuesday in the Shati Refugee Camp in Gaza City. Israel said the man, Hithem Masshal, was a "key terror figure."

TEL AVIV, Israel -- An Israeli air strike killed a "key terror figure" responsible for firing rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, the Israel Defense Forces said on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, a Palestinian stabbed to death an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank, police said.

It was the first time an Israeli had been killed by a Palestinian in the West Bank since 2011, according to Reuters.  

The Israeli strike on Gaza, which is ruled by Islamist militant group Hamas, appeared to be the first such attack since a ceasefire ended an eight-day war in November.

It came just days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a military response to rocket fire into Israel from the strip.

"The terrorist that was targeted is Hithem Ziad Ibrahim Masshal, 24 years old, a resident of Shati Refugee Camp," the IDF said in a statement.  

"Mashhal acted in different Jihad Salafi terror organizations and over the past few years has been a key terror figure, specializing in weapons and working with all of the terror organizations in the Gaza Strip," it added.

Masshal made, modified and traded in ammunition, specializing in rockets and explosive devices, according to the IDF. 

A spokesman for Itzhar settlement named the slain man as Eviatar Borovsky, a 31-year-old father of five. Border policemen shot and wounded Borovsky's attacker.

The violence ended a period of relative calm in the region, and came after Arab states appeared to soften their stance on Israel's borders at a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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