Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has won a narrow victory within his Likud party, escaping the possibility of an early party primary.
Reports Monday night said the right-wing Likud Party's Central Committee voted down a proposal by Mr. Sharon's arch-rival, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for a November primary. Mr. Netanyahu had pressed for the vote to punish Mr. Sharon for evacuating the Gaza Strip. Mr. Sharon has thus bought time -- until April -- in which to heal party rifts that grew from the controversial pullout.
Israeli aircraft fired rockets at a target in the Gaza strip early Tuesday, destroying a bridge that Israeli military sources said had been used by Palestinians rocket crews.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injury. Earlier on Monday, Israeli aircraft staged bombing strikes against Palestinian militants elsewhere in Gaza. Palestinians said several buildings were damaged, but there were no reports of casualties..