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Israeli Forces Kill Palestinians in Gaza Gunbattle


Palestinian medics say Israeli troops operating in the Gaza Strip have killed two Palestinians in separate incidents.

In southern Gaza, Palestinian gunmen opened fire Thursday on Israeli reservists near the town of Khan Younis, wounding one soldier. Palestinians say the Israeli troops returned fire, killing a local police officer and wounding several others.

In an incident in the northern town of Beit Hanoun, Palestinians say Israeli gunfire killed one Palestinian.

Separately, Israeli media say Israeli troops have arrested 20 wanted Palestinian militants in overnight raids in the West Bank.

In another development, Israel's military says intelligence agents intercepted a shipment of high explosives being smuggled from Gaza to the West Bank.

Israel says internal security forces, Shin Bet, seized six kilograms of TNT on Sunday after Palestinian militants smuggled it through the Karni border crossing between Gaza and Israel.

The military says the explosives were part of a shipment loaded onto several taxis bound for the West Bank town of Tulkarem. Israeli forces detained three Israeli Arab taxi drivers, but released the men after they said they were unaware of the nature of the cargo.

Israel says a Palestinian resident of Tulkarem who was to receive the explosives was arrested. The military says the TNT was destined to be used in a terrorist attack against Israelis.

Israel has frequently closed the Karni crossing, due to reports that Palestinian militants were planning attacks on the facility.

The Karni terminal is a main conduit for goods entering and leaving Gaza, and Palestinians complain that its closure worsens their economic hardship.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.