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Palestinian militants and Israeli military forces exchanged volleys Saturday, officials said.

Hamas officials said the approximately 50 mortar shells lobbed into the Pitchat Shalom area of Israel from Gaza were in response to recent Israeli airstrikes that killed two Hamas members, the Los Angeles Times reported. Two people were injured.

Israel responded by firing tank shells into Gaza, wounding five people, including three Hamas members, Palestinian officials told the Times.

An Israeli military spokesman said later in the day soldiers patrolling the Gaza Strip border shot and killed two Palestinian fighters, Ynetnews reported. The Israeli military said it appeared the two Palestinians had intended to plant an explosive device near the fence. No Israeli troops were injured.

Later Saturday, a Qassam rocket was fired from the northern Gaza Strip into southern Israel. No injuries or damage were reported.

The Times also reported journalists in Gaza accused Hamas security personnel of assaulting them while they covered a small demonstration, striking reporters. Media offices were raided and cameras were recovered, the newspaper said.

UPI

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