Palestinian officials say Israeli forces have shelled a house in the Gaza Strip, killing a woman and four of her children.

Medics said Monday the woman and her children, aged one to five, were killed when an Israeli tank shell hit their house in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun as they prepared to sit down for breakfast.

Emergency health officials also say an armed militant was killed during other clashes between gunmen and Israeli forces in the area.

The Israeli army confirmed troops were operating in Beit Hanoun.  Palestinian militants often launch rockets into southern Israel from the border town.

The army said its forces entered the town after gunmen approached a border patrol.  Troops then fired tank shells, one of which struck the home where the woman, Miyasar Abu Meatak, lived with her children.

The military said an Israeli soldier was slightly wounded by gunfire before the air force strikes.



Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.