Two Hamas gunmen were killed Wednesday morning as IDF troops clashed with armed Palestinian groups in southern Gaza.
Over a dozen mortar shells were fired at Israeli ground forces operating in the region near the Sufa border crossing in the early morning hours as well as sporadic small arms attacks.
Troops were able to get a fix on the point of origin of the mortar barrages and the IAF launched a counterstrike against the cell, killing two gunmen.
Troops operating near Sufa (Photo: Tsafrir Abayov)
The army confirmed forces had targeted several gunmen preparing to launch a barrage of mortar shells. A short hour later the IAF struck a second cell setting up mortars to be launched.
The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for the shelling.
An IDF soldier was lightly wounded in the fighting and was evacuated for treatment at the Soroka hospital in Beersheba.
IDF officials said the troops were carrying out routine missions near the border fence. The army has been operating extensively in the region over the past several months in an effort to prevent terror groups from
reaching the fence and carrying out attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border.
"Our operations along the border fence continue, in accordance with security assessments and operational needs. There are achievements in every such operation, some visible and some less so, but at the end of the day they prevent terror attacks in both the long run and the short," they said.
Ali Waked contributed to this report