Israeli airstrikes in Gaza kill four Hamas militants
( dpa ) - Two Israeli airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah early Friday killed four militants of the radical Islamic Hamas movement, Palestinian security officials said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the airstrikes on the cars carrying members of Hamas' armed wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, adding a senior commander she identified as Mohammed Abu Hard involved in rocket attacks at Israel was among them.
Palestinian militants earlier attacked an Israeli border police checkpoint and a Jewish settlement in and near Jerusalem late Thursday.
A border policeman was killed and a policewoman was moderately injured when gunmen opened fire from short range at the checkpoint in East Jerusalem's Shu'afat refugee camp.
And two Palestinian attackers were killed after infiltrating a religious school in the Kfar Etzion settlement, south of Jerusalem. They were overpowered and shot after stabbing and injuring two local security guards.
Friday's airstrikes come after two days of chaos in Gaza, in which Hamas militants blew up a wall on the Strip's southern border, allowing hundreds of thousands of Gazans to cross back and forth freely into Egypt to buy scarce supplies.
The border remained breached for a third consecutive day Friday, and Israel declared a high alert along its own southern border, amid fears militants from Gaza might attempt to infiltrate the country from Egypt.
A militant offshoot of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement claimed responsibility for the shooting attack in Shu'afat.
Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed to meet Sunday to debate the crisis in Gaza, Israel Radio reported.
Abbas demands Israel ease its tight blockade of the Strip, which had triggered the storming of the Gaza-Egypt border early Wednesday.
Israel, however, has said it will not do so unless daily rocket attacks at its southern towns and villages end. Militants fired nine such rockets and mortar shells from Gaza Thursday, the army said.