GAZA, (Reuters) – Israeli troops killed three Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday during clashes between gunmen and soldiers, ambulance crews and doctors said.
An Israeli army spokeswoman said troops operating against militants near the town of Khan Younis fired at gunmen who tried to plant a bomb near soldiers.
Palestinian ambulance crews said two Hamas militants were killed. Doctors later said another militant died of wounds sustained in the clashes. Relatives said he also belonged to Hamas.
Six Palestinians, including two militants, were wounded, the ambulance workers said.
The Israeli military is engaged in an offensive in the territory that it says is aimed at stopping Palestinian militants from launching rockets into the Jewish state.
Israel has killed more than 250 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, since it began a military assault in the Gaza Strip after militants from the territory carried out a cross-border raid and abducted a soldier in June.
Israeli naval vessels also fired at two Palestinian boats near the Gaza coast earlier in the day, wounding two fishermen, Palestinian security sources said.
An Israeli military spokesman said troops on the vessels fired warning shots at the boats after they crossed into a restricted zone, then arrested four Palestinian suspects. He estimated they would be freed soon.