Two Palestinians were killed in clashes near the border fence around the Gaza Strip on Friday, Palestinian media reported.
According to the reports, the two were injured from Israeli artillery near Kissufim, east of Khan Younis. It was also reported that heavy clashes and a powerful explosion took place in the area, and that IDF helicopters were circling the area.
"An Israeli army force raided 500 metres (yards) into Palestinian territory, and was confronted by our gunmen," said Abu Obeida, spokesman for the Hamas armed wing. "This was our work, but was carried out for defense."
Meanwhile, the unknown "Taliban Falasteen" organization also claimed responsibility for the incident. The organization is believed to be affiliated with al-Qaeda. The al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad's military wing, also claimed responsibility for the clashes.
The two Palestinians killed on Friday were reportedly attempting to plant explosives near the border fence. The two were spotted by IDF soldiers, who opened fire at them.
Additional clashes then followed at the scene and Palestinians reported that IDF shells hit a number of houses.
The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, claimed responsibility for the confrontation. While the organization has been working to maintain calm on the front for several months with regards to rocket attacks on Israel, it made no such policy on carrying out attacks against IDF soldiers at the border fence or inside the Strip.
At least 2 Palestinians killed in clashes with IDF
Fierce battles still ongoing between military and terrorists; unusually, Hamas claims responsibility to 'ambush' of IDF troops.
At least two Palestinians were killed and several others wounded in a fire exchange with IDF troops on Friday evening near the Gaza Strip border fence.
According to the IDF, the incident happened near Khan Yunus in the southern Gaza Strip. And IDF team patrolling the southern border identified suspicious people approaching the border fence from the Palestinian side and apparently laying explosives near the fence.
There troops opened fire and killed at least two Palestinians, but fire exchanges were still ongoing.
The IDF was using helicopters and mortar fire against the Palestinians, who belong to the Jaljalat, an extremist al-Qaida inspired group.
The group is not affiliated with Hamas.
But later on Friday evening, the Hamas Website said the group's gunmen were involved — a departure from the Islamic terror group's tendency over the past year to avoid confrontation with Israeli forces.
Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida told Hamas radio that IDF forces "fell into an ambush" set by Hamas terrorists east of Khan Younis. He did not elaborate.
Footage broadcast on Al-Arabiya television showed ambulances that were unable to reach the scene of the fighting because of the gunfire waiting in alleyways as residents gathered around. Local medical officials reported that five civilians were injured.
The military provided no information on the clashes.
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