In one of the most serious flare-ups since Operation Cast Lead ended in mid-January, two Palestinian gunmen were killed in an IAF strike against a terrorist cell trying to plant a bomb along the Gaza border. In response, two Kassam rockets were fired at the western Negev, where they landed without causing injuries or damage. The IDF said the terror cell had been identified by soldiers deployed on the border, who engaged the gunmen while directing an aircraft flying overhead to fire a missile. Three gunmen were wounded in the air strike, while one soldier sustained light wounds in an exchange of fire and was evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba. The IDF said the gunmen were wearing uniforms and were carrying large amounts of weaponry. Palestinian witnesses reported hearing two explosions from the border area, after which IDF helicopters hovered over the fence and fired at targets inside Gaza. No Palestinian group immediately claimed responsibility for the attempted planting of the bomb, although Hamas sent a text message to reporters saying the group's fighters had fired 18 mortar shells at IDF troops. AP contributed to the report.