Israeli artillery on the Gaza border - AP
An Israeli mobile artillery unit fires from a position outside the Gaza Strip, March 2008. Photo by AP
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Israel Defense Forces soldiers opened fire at a number of suspected militants who were approaching the Israel-Gaza Strip border on Tuesday to plant explosives, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

IDF forces confirmed hitting one of the suspects. The IDF said it was the second incident at the same location in the last three days.

Medics in Gaza reported on Tuesday evening that a Palestinian militant was killed and five civilians were wounded when an Israeli tank shelled the village of Khuza'a, east of the town of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

Adham Abu Selmeya, a spokesman in the Hamas-run Ministry of Health, told reporters that Hassan Abu Rook, 22, was killed and five civilians wounded, two of them in serious condition.

"Israeli army tanks stationed at the border between south-east Gaza Strip and Israel fired several shells at the village of Khuza'a, where Abu Rook was killed and five wounded," said Abu Selmeya.

Witnesses said they heard huge explosions after the tanks fired several shells at the residents' houses. No further damage was reported.

The militant group, Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), which is loyal to the Islamist Hamas movement, said that Abu Rook is a member of the group and he was in the area on a special mission.

There has been a surge in violence in recent weeks along the Israel-Gaza Strip border, with militants firing rockets and mortars into Israel and Israel responding with airstrikes.

Seven Palestinian militants have been killed and more than 20 wounded in the recent wave of violent incidents.

However, Hamas leaders in Gaza last week renewed their commitment to a de facto ceasefire that has existed with Israel since the end of Israel's three-week offensive against Hamas in the winter of 2008-09.

Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007 when it overthrew Fatah in a coup.