Israeli soldiers shot and killed two Hamas members on Tuesday in a gunbattle that broke out during a cross-border raid into Gaza to search for gunmen, medics said. According to Reuters, Hamas confirmed the incident and said its gunmen were involved in the shootout with Israeli forces less than a mile inside the central part of the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas appealed to armed groups Monday to halt their attacks on Israel - urging them to accept his plan for renewing a cease-fire even if Israel is cool to the idea.
Palestinian groups have said there could be no truce if Israel keeps up its attacks. But in an interview with Associated Press Television News, Abbas said the groups should take the first step. Under his plan, the Gaza-based groups would halt rocket fire for a month to allow for negotiations on a more comprehensive truce that would include the West Bank.
"The truce project means all acts by all parties stop, the Palestinians first and the Israelis, so we can move after to the West Bank," Abbas said. Israel... can do what it wants, whenever it wants, but we say we should do our duties and put the ball in the Israeli court."