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Palestinian gunmen kill 3 Israeli soldiers

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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Three Israeli soldiers were killed and two were wounded early Friday when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on them after infiltrating the Netzarim settlement in north-central Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said.

According to Israeli military sources, the soldiers killed one of the gunmen and are searching for at least one other.

In a leaflet distributed in Gaza, two Palestinian militant groups -- Islamic Jihad and Hamas -- claimed responsibility for the Netzarim attack. The groups said a member of the Izzedine al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, was the Palestinian killed in the shootout.

The dead soldiers include two women and one man, the IDF said. A male and female soldier were injured in the attack, staged around 4:30 a.m. (11:30 p.m. Thursday).

Hours earlier, another Palestinian was shot and killed as he tried to infiltrate the settlement of Elei Sinai, near Gaza's northern border with Israel, military sources said.

Israeli soldiers fired on the man Thursday night as he approached the fence surrounding the settlement. The body of the Palestinian was found Friday morning when the soldiers searched the area.

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