GAZA STRIP - IDF (Israel Defense Forces) troops along the border with the Gaza Strip killed two armed Palestinians approaching the Kerem Shalom crossing.
After spotting the men, the troops crossed into Gaza to confront them. In the ensuing gun battle, both Palestinians were killed. No soldiers were injured.
Both terrorists were wearing flak jackets and were armed with Kalashnikov rifles and grenades. Troops also found an explosive device near their bodies, meant to be planted next to the road patrolled by the IDF.
IDF officials said that despite the lull in terror attacks, troops deployed along the border remain on high alert for such incidents.
While Hamas has reigned in rocket attacks to avoid retaliatory air strikes on their arms smuggling tunnels along the border with Egypt, they continue to target IDF soldiers patrolling the border with Israel.
IDF troops must continually watch for terrorists trying to plant land mines and roadside bombs, which can be detonated by remote control.
On June 25, 2006, Palestinian terrorists tunneled under the security fence near the Kerem Shalom border crossing and attacked an IDF outpost, killing two soldiers, wounding three, and kidnapping Cpl. Gilad Shalit, who remains in Hamas custody to this day.
Hamas has demanded the release of some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit.
Egyptian-mediated negotiations have failed to strike a deal acceptable to Hamas.
In the three years since Cpl. Shalit's abduction, Hamas has not allowed the international Red Cross nor anyone else to visit him.
His parents have traveled the world, speaking with European leaders, U.S. congressman and even the Pope during his visit to Israel to pressure Hamas to release their son.