Israel forces say they killed a Palestinian militant in the Gaza Strip during a gunbattle early Friday.

The army says three Palestinians began firing missiles and small arms at Israeli soldiers from an abandoned building near the Gaza settlement of Kfar Darom.  As Israeli forces returned fire, two of the militants escaped, but an army spokesman says the third man was killed.

Three militant groups, Hamas, the Popular Resistance Committees and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, say they were involved in the attempt to infiltrate the Jewish settlement.

Today's clash further strained a shaky three-month cease-fire.  Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade have pledged to respect the truce, but both groups say they are determined to avenge Israel's recent military actions in Gaza.

The Israeli military has been ordered Thursday to use all means necessary to suppress Gaza militants' attacks on Jewish targets.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters.