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Israeli Airstrikes in Gaza Kill At Least 3 Hamas Militants

The Israeli military and Palestinian witnesses say at least three Hamas militants have been killed in separate Israeli airstrikes on cars in the Gaza Strip.

The two airstrikes took place in the southern Gaza town of Rafah.

Palestinian medics say some 20 people were wounded in one attack, including bystanders.

The Israeli military said it targeted cars carrying Hamas militants in both airstrikes. It said one of the cars contained explosives and was transporting terrorists on their way to carry out an attack in Israel.

Israeli forces have been carrying out an offensive in Gaza since an Israeli soldier was captured by Palestinian gunmen in June. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed.

Separately, Israel said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for talks on the road map to Middle East peace. But Israeli Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres also said the new peace talks with Palestinian officials will take place only after militants release the soldier.

Palestinian officials say Mr. Abbas has yet to be invited to meet Mr. Olmert.

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