GAZA, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Two Palestinians were killed Sunday in an Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical sources said.
Spokesman for the health ministry in Gaza Ashraf al-Qedra identified them as Ayman al-Najjar and Muhannad Hamouda, both at the age of 24.
The spokesman said both were killed instantly in the Israeli strike that targeted them in northern Gaza Strip city of Jabaliya.
However, the Israeli army denied the Gaza health ministry's reports that the two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli raid.
The army said in a statement that the two activists were killed when the missile they were trying to launch into Israel went off due to a technical damage.
Over the past few weeks, Israel carried out multiple airstrikes and artillery attacks on the Gaza Strip, killing and injuring dozens of Palestinians, while Palestinian factions fired barrages of rockets into southern Israel.
These developments have pushed Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations to exert intense efforts to restore calm in the Israeli-blockaded territory.
Tension in Gaza has been high since the Palestinians launched the ongoing "Great March of Return" on March 30, which demands the lift of the blockade Israel has imposed on Gaza since 2007.
About 155 Palestinians have been killed and more than 17,000 others injured by Israeli gunfire during the rallies which peak every Friday.