JERUSALEM, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Israeli troops killed two Palestinian militants and a soldier was wounded during an exchange of fire on the Israel
border on Saturday, the army said.
Soldiers identified two suspects near the security fence in the central Gaza Strip. The force fired towards the suspects, and they were killed as a result. During searches at the scene, shots were fired at the force, apparently resulting in the injury of one of the soldiers, an army statement said.
Gaza militants did not comment on the incident and the stormy weather in the area prevented ambulance crews from getting to the scene, a Gaza medical official said.
The wounded soldier was ferried by helicopter to a hospital in the southern city of Beersheba. The statement said he had suffered moderate wounds.
The incident was the second in three days in which an Israeli was wounded. On Wednesday, a civilian was lightly hurt by a mortar shell launched by militants from the Gaza Strip that landed in an agricultural community near the border.
The last incident in which soldiers were hurt occurred in August when two were lightly wounded from shell fragments, the army said.
Militants in the coastal enclave ruled by Hamas
Islamists have fired some 200 rockets and mortars at Israel this year and gunmen frequently attempt to plant explosive devices near the border fence.
Israel usually responds with tank fire or air strikes against militant targets and tunnels that militants use to smuggle goods and arms into the territory from Egypt.
Israel ended 38 years of Gaza occupation in 2005 but it began blockading the strip in 2007 after Hamas seized power from Palestinians prepared to negotiate peace with Israel.
Palestinians and some international officials say Israel's occupation can only truly end when it gives up control of Gaza's borders, coast and airspace. (Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Jon Hemming)