Text size

Israel Defense Forces troops on Thursday shot and killed a Palestinian militant who approached the border with Israel in the southern Gaza Strip, east of Rafah.

Palestinian militants reported clashes with the IDF east of Rafah.

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an offshoot of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, said the militant slain earlier by IDF troops was a 21-year-old member of the group.

The group said the IDF had prevented ambulances from reaching the scene of the incident.

Palestinian medical officials could not immediately confirm a casualty.

The IDF said a rifle was found on the body of the deceased.

Later Thursday, Egyptian security sources reported hearing an explosion near the Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel, Egypt and Gaza, but later said they had determined the sound was gunfire.

An IDF spokesman said he was not aware of a blast in the area, and an Israeli police spokesman was checking the report.

Egyptian security sources said the gunfire was on either the Gaza or Israel side of the border. Witnesses at the Rafah border area reported a shot being fired there because of the large crowd. It was unclear who fired the shot, and there were no reports of casualties.

Clashes are common between the army and Palestinian militants and rocket launchers in the Gaza Strip.

Earlier this week, Israel Air Force warplanes attacked a convoy of Hamas armored vehicle in the Gaza Strip, wounding four militants.

On Wednesday, an Egyptian daily reported that five Palestinian terrorists carrying explosives belts and planning a suicide attack against Israel were apprehended by the Egyptian authorities recently in recent days.

Al-Ahram also reported that several other Palestinians had tried to bribe Egyptian guards to allow them to cross border checkpoints with explosives without being searched.