During the exchanges of fire, an explosive device belonging to the gunmen exploded, killing one of them. Kalashnikov rifles were found in the area.
Shortly before 9 a.m., IDF soldiers spotted two gunmen attempting to plant an explosive device on the border fence near the Karni crossing. Soldiers from the Givati Brigade arrived at the area and exchanges of fire erupted between the troops and the gunmen.
During the exchanges of fire, the gunmen's explosive device exploded, killing one of them. The soldiers searched for the other gunman.
IDF officials estimated that the two planned to carry out a terror attack, as rifles and weapons were found in the area.
Border fence near Karni crossing (Photo: Tsafrir Abayov)
Palestinian sources reported that the man killed in the incident was Muhammad Saidi, 20, a member of the al-Aqsa Brigades.
The incident is relatively unusual in the Gaza Strip. Since the ceasefire which came into force in November 2006, only several incidents took place in which terrorists arrived at the border fence in order to carry out an attack.
Defense establishment officials noted that the terrorists' motivation remained high and that they continue to rearm, mainly by smuggling weapons through the Philadelphi route.
Earlier Tuesday, IDF soldiers spotted a group of Palestinians near the Gaza Strip border fence. The force called in the Palestinians to stop, and when they failed to obey, the soldiers fired at the bottom part of their body and hit two of them.
"In spite of the relative calm, the forces are very alert. These are sensitive times and we refer to every incident as a terror attack. However, we are operating according to the existing instructions on opening fire," sources in the IDF said.
Ali Waked contributed to the report