Israeli troops kill 2 Palestinians near Gaza fence

Israel Materials 24 November 2007 12:37 (UTC +04:00)

( Reuters ) - Israeli soldiers killed two Palestinian farmers near the fence on the Gaza Strip's northern border with Israel, Palestinian hospital officials said on Saturday.

They said the bodies of the two brothers in their mid-40s were recovered from Beit Hanoun, a Gaza frontier town favoured by Palestinian militants for cross-border rocket launches.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said troops operating in the area shot two Palestinians on Friday night.

"They approached our unit in a suspicious manner, crouched over," the spokeswoman said.

She had no immediate word on whether the soldiers were patrolling Israel's side of the fence or inside Gazan territory.

Israel has stepped up air strikes and military incursions since Islamist Hamas seized control of Gaza in June.