Givati Brigade soldiers opened fire on at least six armed Palestinians during an operation near the town of Khan Younis in central Gaza, Thursday. Three of the gunmen are believed to have been killed.
No casualties were reported among the IDF soldiers involved in the raid.
The forces have been operating in the area since Wednesday night along with Armored Corps forces, conducting searches for weapons and munitions. The clash occurred after local gunmen opened fire on the troops and launched mortar shells in their direction.
According to an IDF spokesman, the soldiers opened fire on the gunmen after encountering them in the course of the operation. It is still unclear whether any gunmen were killed.
Palestinian sources reported of heavy gunfights in the area.
An army source said Thursday that Palestinian terrorists are making constant attempts to approach the border and strike soldiers and civilian targets in the region.
The military operations, he added, "are aimed at pushing the terrorists back into the Strip and preventing them from nearing the fence."
Ali Waked contributed to the report