An Israel Defense Forces strike in the northern Gaza Strip yesterday killed two Palestinians, witnesses and medical officials said. The army is saying both casualties were firing at the troops, but Palestinian sources say at least on was a civilian.

According to the IDF Spokesman's Office, troops shot and killed a Palestinian after observing him firing mortar rounds at Israeli towns. In another incident, the IDF fired on militants launching Qassams on Israel from around Beit Hanun, killing one Palestinian.

The army said both casualties were militants, but added it would look into the claims that civilians had been hit. A senior officer in charge of the area told Haaretz that even if the report turn out to be true, "the terrorist organizations are responsible for their deaths and not the IDF."

Meanwhile, at least 10 Qassam rockets were fired from Gaza at settlements in the northern Negev, in addition to some 12 mortar rounds. Two Qassams directly struck houses in the town of Sderot, damaging the buildings. One 17-year-old girl was lightly wounded from shrapnel.

The girl's father and uncle, who were both outside when the rocket hit the backyard of the Ismail household, were treated for shock at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.