Gaza City - Israeli Apache helicopters raided Palestinian targets in the north of Gaza City on Monday, just hours after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon returned early from Washington due to a wave of suicide bombings, an AFP correspondent on the scene said.

The US-built attack helicopters fired missiles at a Palestinian security office close to the offices of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who was not in Gaza at the time.

Palestinian security officials fired back at the Israeli aircraft with heavy machine-guns. - Sapa-AFP