IDF soldiers blocked an attack by Palestinian Authority Arab terrorists early Thursday morning along the border with Gaza.
The terrorist cell was engaged in planting a bomb near the security fence along the northern area of the region when IDF soldiers spotted their activity. The Givati battalion targeted the cell in an operation cooperating with an armored 'Iron Tracks' division and the Israeli Air Force.
The cell was successfully eliminated, an IDF spokesperson said, and all IDF soldiers returned to base unharmed.
The Hamas terrorist-ruled Gaza Health Ministry told the AFP news agency Thursday "We have received three bodies," adding that all had been killed when struck by an Israeli tank shell east of the town of Beit Hanun.
Hamas ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP that two of the three -- Akram al-Za'anin, 22 and Ihab al-Za'anin, were brothers, and the third, Tareq al-Kafarna, 26, was on his way to work at the local hospital when they were killed. He also claimed that all three were "civilians."
The operation followed a similar attempt earlier Wednesday evening by Gaza terrorists to launch a rocket attack on southern Israel.
Israeli fighter pilots struck a terrorist squad in central Gaza while the operatives were making final preparations to fire the missile at towns in the western Negev.
According to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, the targeted terror cell had been involved in previous attacks on Israel as well. This time, a direct hit on the target by IAF pilots was confirmed.