Israeli troops kill two Palestinians in Gaza Strip

GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli forces on Thursday killed two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including a Hamas commander involved in the 2006 capture of an Israeli soldier, local medics and the army said.

In the latest incident, troops shot and killed a 55-year-old man close to the border fence near the southern town of Khan Younis, Palestinian medical workers said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed forces were operating in the area and that troops and militants exchanged sporadic gunfire.

Earlier an Israeli air strike killed a Hamas commander who, the Israeli military said, was involved in the 2006 capture of an Israeli in a cross-border raid. He is still being held by Gaza militants.

“The Israel Defense Forces targeted … Nafez Mansour, a Hamas terror operative,” an Israeli military statement said.

Hamas and medical workers said a missile fired by an Israeli aircraft killed Mansour, a local field commander, as he was walking through Rafah refugee camp near the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt.

The attack coincided with Egyptian efforts to broker a ceasefire between Palestinian militants in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and Israel.

“Mansour was involved, among other attacks, in the capture of Gilad Shalit,” the statement said, referring to the soldier seized by militants who tunneled into Israel from the Gaza Strip in 2006.

The statement gave no details about Mansour’s alleged role in the operation.

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