IDF troops killed two Palestinian terrorists and wounded three in an incident along the Gaza border late Sunday afternoon, according to a Palestinian Health Ministry official.
Dr. Moaiya Hassanain said the men were hit by tank fire.
The IDF said in a statement a border patrol fired tank and artillery shells at a group of Palestinians seen planting a bomb at the Gaza border fence. The two Palestinians were responsible for firing three rockets into Israel on August 24, as well as injuring an IDF soldier in the same incident, the statement added.
Hamas said one of its fighters was among the dead, identifying him as Abed Hafiz al-Silawi, 21, while the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine identified the other as 21-year-old Mahmoud Ahmed Naseer in a separate statement.
The foiled attack came less than a day after two Kassam rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel. The rockets exploded in open areas in the western Negev overnight Saturday.
There were no reports of casualties or damage, though 'Color Red' warning sirens were heard in Sderot following the launch.
IAF warplanes bombed three smuggling tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip overnight Sunday in response to the Kassam rocket attacks, the army said, adding that approximately 715 Kassam rockets, mortar shells and Grad missiles had been fired at Israel since the beginning of 2009.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has vowed to respond to any attack on Israel from Gaza.