Three Gazans were killed on Saturday and more than 20 wounded in Israeli shelling after militants attacked an Israeli jeep, injuring three soldiers, sources on both sides said.
"Three people were killed and 25 wounded in Israeli shelling on the eastern districts of Zeitun and Shejaiya," said Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for the Hamas-run health ministry, referring to two districts east of Gaza City.
Palestinian witnesses said the shooting occurred after militants fired a rocket at an Israeli jeep which exploded on the border east of Gaza City, in an attack claimed by the armed wing of the left-leaning Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
The Israeli army confirmed that troops had been targeted by an anti-tank missile along the border.
"An anti-tank rocket was fired at Israeli soldiers during a routine patrol along northern Gaza. They responded to the fire," a spokeswoman said.
Military sources said three soldiers were wounded, two of them seriously, while army radio said the jeep was blown up. The military did not immediately confirm either report.
The attack was claimed by the PFLP's armed wing in a statement, which said its militants had fired two anti-tank rockets at Israeli troops.
Medics also said another five Palestinians were wounded in Israeli shelling near Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.
A Palestinian youth grieves at al-Shifa hospital morgue in Gaza City. Three Gazans were killed on Saturday and more than 20 wounded in Israeli shelling after militants attacked an Israeli jeep, injuring three soldiers, sources on both sides said.
"The occupation attacked Palestinian civilians east of Gaza City and Khan Yunis. We consider this escalation as very dangerous. It must stop immediately," said Fawzi Barhum, spokesman for the Hamas government which rules the impoverished territory.
On Thursday, an Israeli soldier was wounded east of Khan Yunis when a tunnel packed with explosives was detonated in an attack claimed by Hamas's armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, hours after a Palestinian teenager was shot dead by troops in the same area.
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak blamed Hamas and said he was weighing "how and when to respond."
An Egypt-brokered ceasefire went into force in the border zone on October 24 after 72 hours of bloodshed in which air strikes killed eight Palestinian militants and armed groups fired more than 100 rockets at Israel, wounding three people.