(Adds second Palestinian died)
GAZA, March 3 (Reuters) - An Israeli air strike on Monday killed two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip who Israel's military said had been preparing to launch a rocket across the border.
Palestinian sources said a 24-year-old militant was killed in the strike and a second man later died of his wounds, but hospital officials did not say whether he was also a militant.
The air strike was "carried out in order to eliminate an imminent attack targeting civilian communities of southern Israel", a military spokesman said.
Gaza is run by the Islamist group Hamas, which is sworn to Israel's destruction, but which has been trying to prevent smaller militant groups from firing at Israel. (Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Alistair Lyon)