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Israeli Air Strikes Hit Targets in Gaza

Israeli aircraft have made two separate attacks in Gaza Saturday.

In the first, they fired missiles at a vehicle in southern Gaza, killing a senior official with Islamic Jihad and two other militants.

The Israeli military said the three were planning a suicide bombing and had been involved in suicide bombings and other attacks against Israel in the past.

Islamic Jihad confirmed the dead men were members. It said one was Ziad Ghanam, the group's top leader in southern Gaza.

The second attack was against a metal workshop at a refugee camp near Gaza City. At least three people in the shop were reported killed. Their identities are not known, and the Israeli military released no information about the target.

In other news, the armed wing of Hamas Saturday rejected Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' call for the deployment of international troops in the Gaza strip. The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said it would regard such a force as an army of occupation, and would forcibly resist it.

President Abbas dismissed a Hamas-led unity government and formed his own administration in the occupied West Bank after Hamas' violent takeover of the Gaza Strip two weeks ago.

During talks Friday in Paris with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr. Abbas called for the deployment of an international force to Gaza. He said such a force is necessary to provide security so that nearly parliamentary and presidential elections can be held in Gaza.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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