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Israel Defense Forces troops early Thursday shot dead a Hamas gunman who had infiltrated the hothouse area of the central Gaza Strip settlement of Ganei Tal.

Soldiers fanned out to search the area, fearing that at least one other gunman had taken part in the incident.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

No troops were wounded. The settlement's residents were ordered to remain in their homes.

The gun battle with the attacker began shortly after 6 A.M., and firing continued for at least a half hour.

"An armed terrorist ... reached the hothouses at Ganei Tal. He opened fire and threw grenades at an Israeli force on patrol. They returned fire, killing him," an army spokeswoman said.

Palestinians fired a mortar at an IDF outpost near the Karni-Netzarim crossing in Gaza late Thursday. No casualties or damage were caused in the incident.

Early on Thursday evening, Palestinian militants opened fire on an IDF outpost near Gush Katif. Gunmen also fired an anti-tank rocket at troops near Rafah on the southern Gaza border with Egypt. There were no casualties in either incident.

Earlier Thursday, a mortar shell landed in the northern Gaza Strip settlement of Nissanit. One woman was treated for shock, and one building in the settlement was damaged. Earlier Thursday, a mortar shell was fired at the Gush Katif settlement bloc. No injuries were reported in that incident.

Golani Brigade reconnaissance troops operating in the Gaza Strip's village of Beit Lahia on Thursday morning arrested a Fatah gunman was responsible for directing mortar attacks on settlements and IDF outposts in the area.

Near the northern West Bank settlement of Sanur on Thursday evening, a bomb exploded adjacent to Israeli car. There were no casualties.

Qassam wounds some 12 IDF troops in GazaOn Wednesday, at least 12 Israel Defense Forces troops were wounded, two moderately to seriously, when Palestinians fired a Qassam rocket at an IDF base near the Gaza-Israel border.

The troops were evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva.

Also Wednesday, Palestinians fired two Qassam rockets at the western Negev and mortar shells at Gaza Strip settlements, in a continuation of ongoing mortar and rocket fire that the IDF has been attempting to bring to an end in recent weeks. There were no injuries in those attacks.