Israeli security forces on Monday morning thwarted what they later said was an attempted large-scale Palestinian terrorist incursion from Gaza.
During the early morning hours, at least 10 Palestinian gunmen approached the Gaza security fence and opened fire on an Israeli army patrol. Israeli troops quickly returned fire, but themselves came under fire form a previously unseen mortar unit supporting the terrorist gunmen.
Israeli reinforcements rushed to the scene and returned tank fire. As the battle intensified, several vehicles showed up on the Palestinian side and tried to help the gunmen escape, but were hit by Israeli helicopter fire.
At least five Palestinian terrorists were killed in the exchange. There were no casualties on the Israeli side.
Army officials believe the terrorist force was either trying to kidnap additional Israeli soldiers or launch a major ground assault against an Israeli community bordering the Gaza Strip.