Israel Launches Renewed Airstrikes on Palestinians in Gaza

Israeli aircraft struck a succession of militant targets in the Gaza Strip on Friday, after hitting a house in the refugee camp where Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh lives.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is to meet later Friday with all the Palestinian factions to discuss a possible truce with Israel. Abbas has proposed a halt of rocket attacks on Israel for a month to allow the Palestinian factions to discuss a more comprehensive truce with Israel, and each other. Abbas said he is waiting to hear from the factions before talking with Israel.

Israel has carried out dozens of airstrikes in recent days in retaliation for stepped-up Palestinian rocket fire on southern Israeli towns.

Haniyeh stayed away from public prayers on Friday, even though Israel denied he was a target of the missile fired at the Shati refugee camp just before midnight Thursday.

No one was hurt in that attack, which Israel said targeted an unspecified structure used by Hamas.

Haniyeh, wearing an exercise suit and sneakers, went to inspect the site, but guards pulled him away because Israeli aircraft were still in the sky. Other targets around that time were a money changer's shop in Gaza City that the army said funneled funds to terror organizations, and a Hamas post in northern Gaza.

Another airstrike targeted a Hamas training center south of Gaza City, destroying the compound and lightly injuring at least three, witnesses said.

On Thursday, Israel broadened its tactics by rounding up 33 Hamas political leaders in the West Bank.

The most prominent leader arrested was Education Minister Nasser Shaer, considered a pragmatist.

Israel has been holding 40 Palestinian lawmakers from Hamas rounded up over the past year.

More than 40 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli raids over the past 10 days, and an Israeli woman was killed by a rocket on Monday. The rocket barrages have severely disrupted life in the area near Gaza, and thousands of frightened residents have fled.

At sundown Thursday, two mortar shells fired from Gaza exploded at Erez, the main transit point for people moving between Gaza and Israel, and Israel briefly closed the crossing. There was considerable damage to two of the processing lanes, but no one was hurt, the military said.

Visiting EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana met moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza on Thursday and called on both sides to halt the violence.

"The rockets and the Israeli response have to stop," he told reporters after the meeting.

Days after the flare-up with Israel began, Hamas and Abbas' Fatah movement halted more than a week of bloody internal clashes.

Separately, Gaza's border crossing with Egypt was reopened on Friday after Israel relaxed a security alert that kept it closed 12 days.

Pedestrians carrying bags and suitcases clustered at the crossing, Gaza's gateway to the outside world. Others piled into buses or onto the backs of trucks along the road leading to the passage.

Israel has kept the passage closed frequently over the past year, citing concerns about weapons-smuggling into Gaza. The Palestinians say the closures, which prevent people and goods from coming in and out of Gaza, have crippled their economy.