At least five Palestinians have been killed and three others wounded by Israeli gunfire and rockets in the southern Gaza Strip.
Palestinian witnesses say the five Palestinians died in two separate overnight incidents near the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border. An Israeli military statement said the armed suspects appeared to be either smugglers or terrorists.
Hours later, three Palestinians were wounded in Gaza when an Israeli drone fired a missile at a car carrying a wanted militant.
The target of the attack, Popular Resistance Committees head Jamal Abu Samahdna, was among the wounded. The Israeli military confirmed the attempt, saying the target has been linked to earlier attacks on Israelis.
Last week, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Israel would not launch attacks or raids in the Palestinian territories in the runup to January ninth Palestinian elections, as long as the Jewish state is not provoked.
Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.