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Israel: Attack kills Palestinian gunman in Gaza

Violence flairs ahead of election

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GAZA CITY, Gaza (CNN) -- The Israeli military fired missiles Sunday at three armed Palestinians trying to infiltrate Israel from Gaza at the Karni Crossing, killing one of the gunmen, the Israeli army said.

There was no other immediate information available about the incident.

About 12 miles (20 kilometers) away, on the east side of Gaza City, witnesses said Israeli military aircraft fired two missiles at a car on Sunday, killing one person and wounding three others. The Israeli army denied it was involved in the Gaza City incident, and no other information was available.

The Gaza incidents occurred three days after a bomber set off explosives at a sandwich shop in Tel Aviv. Thursday's attack was the first suicide bombing in Israel this year. (Full story)

The violence comes in advance of Wednesday's Palestinian parliamentary elections and in the aftermath of Israel's military pullout.

In September, for the first time since occupying the territory in 1967, Israel withdrew its troops and Jewish settlements from Gaza. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the withdrawal of almost 9,000 Jewish settlers and the Israeli troops who guarded them from Gaza and parts of the West Bank would put the onus on the Palestinians to seek peace. (Full story)

As the new year began, reports in Gaza about random kidnappings, daily exchanges of gunfire between police and armed militants and different neighborhoods patrolled and controlled by competing militias triggered concerns about whether the ruling Palestinian Authority can maintain control in the territory. (Full story)

On Thursday, a spokesman for acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to disarm Palestinian militant groups, saying that so far, Abbas had failed to take action against the extremists.

Palestinian election candidates backed by Hamas, a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist group that calls for Israel's destruction, are expected to make gains in Wednesday's vote against candidates of the ruling Fatah Party.

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