At least two people, a man and a woman, were killed late Wednesday in an Israeli air strike on a Palestinian refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. At least 13 others were wounded in the strike, including at least four small children now listed in critical condition. It was the second Israeli air strike this week in which Palestinian civilians have be killed.

The air strike came at dusk and targeted Palestinian militants traveling in a car through the crowded Khan Younis refugee camp. The militants belonged to the group Islamic Jihad. The militants escaped the attack but the missile hit a nearby house causing the civilian casualties. The Israeli military confirmed it had carried out an air strike against militants but gave no further details.

Israeli officials say the air strikes are in retaliation for continuing Palestinian rocket fire at the Israeli town of Sderot, along the Gaza border. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel may step up its attacks if the missile fire does not stop.

The Israeli prime minister says Israel will not relent in its objective to bring security to its Gaza border.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday once again appealed to Palestinian militants to stop firing rockets into southern Israel. In the past, similar appeals have been largely ignored. Mr. Olmert and Mr. Abbas are scheduled to meet Thursday on the sidelines of a conference being held this week in Jordan, but officials from both sides say no substantive talks are planned.

Wednesday night's strike was just the latest in a series of botched Israeli air strikes targeted at militants that have killed civilians. On Tuesday three children were killed in a similar strike, and last week more than a dozen Palestinian civilians were killed in a strike targeting Islamic Jihad militants