GAZA, Sept 6 Israeli forces killed three
Palestinian militants in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday and
the Israeli military said they were trying to plant explosives
near a border fence when they were attacked.
The incident followed the killing a day earlier of three
militants in an air strike which the military said foiled their
attempt to fire rockets from the central Gaza Strip into Israel.
Villagers who knew the men killed in Thursday's attack said
they belonged to a small Islamist militant group known as Homat
al-Aqsa. Their bodies were taken to a local hospital.
"Soldiers targeted a terrorist squad that was planting an
explosive device near the security fence in the northern Gaza
Strip," the military said in a statement.
Hamas, an Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip,
confirmed their deaths and said one of the men, lying wounded,
had used his cellular telephone to summon an ambulance but
Israeli fire prevented the vehicle from approaching and he died.
An Israeli military spokesman said he had no immediate
comment on the allegation but would seek more information from
Hamas is hostile to Israel but has largely refrained in
recent years from launching cross-border rocket attacks. Israel
has said that as Gaza's ruler, Hamas bears overall
responsibility for any strikes from the territory carried out by