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Israel kills four militants in West Bank

Pregnant Israeli and her 4 children killed in Gaza

Smoke rises from a building in Gaza that was hit by rockets fired from an Israeli helicopter gunship.
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Four Israeli children and their pregnant mother are killed in a terrorist attack near a bloc of Jewish settlements in Gaza.

Israeli helicopter gunship attacks Gaza City high-rise, hours after terrorists killed 5 Israeli family members.
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West Bank

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Four members of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades were killed Sunday night when their car was attacked by the Israeli air force in the West Bank city of Nablus, according to Palestinian medical officials and the Israel Defense Forces.

Three other people, apparently bystanders, were wounded, Palestinian medical officials said.

The IDF described the men as "senior" terrorists responsible for attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers.

Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is a militant offshoot of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement. It has carried out attacks against civilians, and is designated a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel.

The incident was one of several acts of violence Sunday, beginning with the killing of a pregnant Israeli woman and her four children by terrorists near a Gaza settlement, according to witnesses and Israeli military sources.

The family had been on its way to campaign for a no vote in a referendum among Likud party members on whether to approve Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw Israeli troops and settlers from Gaza and from parts of the West Bank. (Full story)

After the attack, two gunmen were killed by Israeli soldiers on Kissufim Road in Gaza, which leads to the Gush Katif settlements, the military sources said.

The Popular Resistance -- an amalgamation of several armed Palestinian groups including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Fatah military wing -- took responsibility for the attack in a leaflet distributed in Gaza City.

A settler spokesman identified the victims as 34-year-old Tali Hatuel, who was eight months pregnant, and her four children: Hila, 11; Hadar, 9; Roni, 7; and Merav, 2.

Sharon issued a statement condemning the "brutal crime against civilians and children." His statement also touched on his withdrawal proposal.

"Today's terrible murder is the Palestinian way of rejecting and disrupting the plan," Sharon said. "We will fight terror and do our utmost to prevent such incidents from recurring and, therefore, I will fight for my plan."

Later, an Israeli helicopter gunship attacked a high-rise in Gaza City that houses the Voice of Al Aqsa, a radio station run by Hamas, according to Israeli security sources, who said the station was used to incite violence. Palestinian hospital sources said at least five people suffered minor injuries.

Hamas is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. The group's military wing, Izzedine al Qassam, has admitted responsibility for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and attacks against the Israeli military.

On Saturday, Palestinian medical sources said an 8-year-old Palestinian boy was killed in a shootout between Israeli troops and Palestinians in the Khan Yunis refugee camp in Gaza, and 20 people were wounded.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said troops returned fire after Palestinians fired antitank rockets and threw Molotov cocktails at army posts Saturday evening. The military could not confirm any Palestinian casualties as a result of the shooting, the spokeswoman said.

CNN's Paula Hancocks in Gaza, Yoav Appel and Matthew Chance contributed to this report.

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