An IDF force thwarted an attempt by three Palestinian gunmen to infiltrate Israel near the Kerem Shalom border crossing in southern Gaza Thursday noon.
A Desert Patrol force indentified a cell of three Palestinians approaching the border fence and opened fire at them.
One of the men was killed and a second one was injured, while the third managed to escape and is currently being pursued by the soldiers.
Hamas confirmed that one of its operatives was killed in a clash with the IDF near the Kerem Shalom crossing, but did not report whether the clash occurred during an infiltration attempt.
According to Palestinian sources in Gaza, the pursuit continues inside the Strip, with IDF troops aided by an IAF helicopter.
The sources identified the gunmen as belonging to Hamas, and reported that one of the men wounded was evacuated to a hospital in Gaza.
The Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Gaza constitutes a major channel for food and medical supplies into the Strip.
The IDF decided to close the commercial crossing following the incident. Eighteen trucks have already been allowed entry into the Strip Thursday, but the remaining 20 that are still on the Israeli side will apparently not be allowed in.
On June 25 2006, Palestinian terrorists infiltrated the Kerem Shalom area, killed two IDF soldiers and kidnapped Corporal Gilad Shalit to Gaza.
Ali Waked contributed to the report