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Israel Defense Forces troops killed a Palestinian gunman during a gunbattle in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, hospital officials said.

They identified the 23-year-old Mahmoud al-Hajj, who was killed in central Gaza near the border fence with Israel, as a member of the Islamic Jihad militant group.

The IDF had no immediate comment.

IDF troops regularly stage raids into Gaza to try to prevent Islamic Jihad and other factions from firing rockets or mortars across the border into Israel or at border crossings.

On Tuesday, five mortar shells struck Moshav Netiv Haasara on the Israel-Gaza border, causing damage to a home but no physical injuries. One mortar hit a house with a woman and an infant inside.

Also Wednesday, an 18-year-old Palestinian carrying a pistol, knives and a suicide note was arrested at a Border Patrol checkpoint outside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron.

The suspect raised the suspicion of Border Police officers after he refused a request to pass through the security checkpoint.

The security establishment is investigating how the youth arrived at the tomb and why he had decided to carry out the attack.

He was taken for questioning by police in Hebron.

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