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Two Israeli soldiers have been killed during clashes with Hamas fighters on the Gaza Strip's southern border, the Israeli army has said.
Two other soldiers were wounded during the fighting which broke out east of the town of Khan Younis.
Two Palestinian militants were also killed in the clashes, Palestinian and Israeli sources say.
The unrest may have been sparked by a bid by militants to seize an Israeli soldier, a BBC correspondent says.
Palestinian militants carried out a raid across the fence line and the Israeli military then appears to have pursued them back into Gaza, sa
In a statement, reported by the AFP news agency, an Israeli government spokesman said: "An officer and a soldier were killed and two others slightly wounded in an exchange of fire with terrorists planting explosives along the security fence in southern Gaza."
Hamas' armed wing - the Al-Qassam Brigades - said in a statement sent to the BBC, that it had killed the two Israeli soldiers.
Speaking to Reuters news agency, Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida is quoted as saying: "This was our work, but was carried out for defence."