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The Israel Defense Forces killed three Palestinian gunmen minutes after they fired a barrage of mortars at Israel from Gaza yesterday.

The Palestinian attacks began in the morning, when two Qassam rockets exploded in fields near Sha'ar Hanegev. By noon, several dozen mortars had struck near Kibbutz Nahal Oz, and the residents were instructed to take cover in secure rooms for 40 minutes.

No injuries or damage were reported as a result of the Palestinian attacks.

IDF ground forces identified the Palestinian mortar crew firing from the area near Sajayia, near the border fence. The troops openned fire and killed the three militants.

In a later attack, the IDF destroyed the large caliber mortar tube used to target Nahal Oz. The IDF said that at least five Qassams were fired at Israel, striking near Kibbutz Sa'ad and Kibbutz Miflasim.

Hamas acknowledged yesterday that three members of its military wing, Iz al-Din al-Qassam, had been killed in an IDF attack.

Also yesterday, in the West Bank, a Palestinian woman was arrested at a checkpoint south of Ramallah carrying a knife with a 13-centimeter-long blade. The IDF said the woman was handed over to Israeli police for questioning.