April 9th, 2008 12:09 EST
Clash at Gaza Border claims at least 4 lives
The Israeli army says Palestinian militants attacked an Israeli-controlled border crossing from the Gaza Strip Wednesday, killing two Israeli civilians.
Israeli police say two of the attackers were killed and others escaped back to Gaza. The Israeli military responded to the raid with an air strike and tank shelling into Gaza.
Palestinian medics say at least three Palestinians, including a civilian, were killed. The Israeli army said it targeted gunmen.
Islamic Jihad and another smaller militant group claimed responsibility for the raid. An Islamic Jihad spokesman said the operation was aimed at abducting Israeli soldiers.
Israel has blamed the Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, for the raid. The attack occurred at the important Nahal Oz terminal that sends fuel into Gaza. It is unclear whether the terminal suffered any damage.
A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Mark Regev said the attack on the terminal shows the militants' "total and complete disregard" for civilians in Gaza.
Earlier today in Gaza, an Israeli soldier and a Hamas militant were killed during an Israeli military raid.
The Israeli military said two soldiers and a Palestinian were also wounded during an exchange of fire. Israel says the operation was launched to prevent attacks along the border.
Israeli police in Jerusalem were on high alert and had increased security at checkpoints following intelligence reports of a possible attack.
On Tuesday, Hamas threatened to storm the borders of the Gaza Strip in Israel and Egypt, unless Israel ends its blockade of the region.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.