Israeli troops have shot and killed three Hamas militants in separate incidents along Israel's border with the Gaza Strip.

In the first incident Wednesday, Israeli soldiers killed two Hamas militants near the Karni cargo crossing.

Hours later, the Israeli military says troops opened fire at several gunmen who approached the border fence near the Erez crossing in northern Gaza. One Hamas militant was reported killed and two others were wounded.

Israeli troops frequently fire at Palestinians who approach Gaza's border fence to prevent infiltrations and to stop militants from launching rockets into Israel.

Hamas seized control of Gaza in mid-June after weeks of fighting with rival Fatah security forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel and the international community support the West Bank-based Palestinian government formed by Mr. Abbas and do not recognize Hamas as a legitimate governing body.

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