An Israeli helicopter missile strike has killed at least three Palestinians in the West Bank town of Jenin, including a senior militant.

The missile struck a car in the center of Jenin. Palestinian sources say militant Mahmoud Abu Kahlifa was among the dead. He was a senior local leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which is linked to Yasser Arafat's mainstream Fatah movement.

Israel often targets Palestinian militants, saying such actions are justified due to the continuing attacks by militant groups. But, innocent bystanders are often also killed in the process.

Israel launched a similar air strike early last week into a training camp in Gaza used by Hamas members. Fourteen militants were killed in that raid. Then, last Friday, an Israeli helicopter fired a missile into the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza, killing one militant. Israel said the area was used to fire Qassam rockets into Israel.