Palestinian militants fired two Qassam rockets at an Israeli town close to the Gaza Strip on Monday, killing two people and injuring at least seven others. The attack is the latest in an upsurge of violence over the past days.

The militant group Hamas has claimed responsibility for Monday morning's attack in which Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired rockets into the southern Israeli town of Sderot. One landed near a school, killing a 50-year old man and a three-year old boy. A second Qassam hit near a shopping center, but caused no casualties.

Militants often fire the homemade rockets into Israel, but they are very inaccurate and seldom cause serious injuries.

Earlier Monday Israeli helicopters fired at suspected weapons workshops in Gaza City causing some damage but no serious injuries.

Late Sunday Palestinian militants, using a tunnel dug under an Israeli military outpost in southern Gaza, exploded a huge bomb, killing one soldier and wounding another five.

The Gaza Strip had been relatively quiet since large-scale Israeli military operations last month which left dozens of Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers dead.

Israeli officials say the latest violence will not derail Prime Minister's Ariel Sharon's plans to withdraw all Jewish settlements and soldiers from the Gaza Strip. A government spokesman said Israel would continue to destroy what he called the "terrorist infrastructure." He said terrorism would not dictate the government's political plans.

In the West Bank, Palestinian groups have vowed revenge for seven militants killed in an Israeli security sweep in the town of Nablus on Saturday. Among those killed was Nayaf Abu Sharkh, a founder of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a militant group linked to Yasser Arafat's mainstream Fatah movement.