Three Palestinians and an Israeli settler in the West Bank were killed yesterday in a fresh spasm of violence as Israeli troops maintained a stranglehold around the Gaza Strip border town of Beit Hanoun.

The three Palestinians killed in yesterday's violence were a militant trying to infiltrate a Jewish colony, a Palestinian shot dead after a car-chase by occupied Jerusalem police and a youth killed in clashes with stone-throwers in Beit Hanoun.

The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed the killing of a settler.

Palestinians opened fire at an Israeli car near the city of Jenin shortly after dawn yesterday, killing the 49-year-old driver and lightly wounding his wife.

The Brigades said the shooting avenged Israel's killing of its West Bank commander in a raid into Nablus on June 26.

In occupied Jerusalem, Israeli paramilitary border police in civilian clothes killed a Palestinian after chasing his vehicle on suspicion that it was carrying Palestinians without entry permits, police said.

Several hours earlier soldiers killed a Palestinian the army said was trying to slip into a colony near Nablus to carry out an attack.

In Gaza, a 17-year-old boy was killed by Israeli gunfire at the entrance to Beit Hanoun, Palestinian medical sources said.

Meanwhile, Israeli attack helicopters fired three missiles yesterday at a Palestinian metal workshop in the Jebaliya refugee camp, north of Gaza City, witnesses said.

Medics said three people were treated on the spot for minor injuries. A fourth missile was fired in a separate attack on another metal workshop in Gaza city.