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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli forces killed three Palestinians during an airstrike in Gaza on Thursday and shot at an armed militant during operations in the Gaza city of Rafah, Israel Defense Forces said.
The Palestinians were targeted near Jebalya refugee camp after they were spotted retrieving a rocket launcher used in an earlier Qassam missile attack on the Israeli city of Sderot, Israeli military sources said.
In addition, Palestinian security and medical sources said gunfire from a small incursion of Israeli troops in Rafah left two dead and seven wounded.
IDF did not immediately confirm any casualties, but Israeli forces have been operating in the southern city of Rafah near the Gaza-Egypt border.
Israeli forces fired upon the armed militant in Rafah while they were carrying out arrests throughout the city, military sources said.
In a separate incident, Israeli troops returned fire on armed militants hiding in a nearby house after they initiated gunfire in Rafah, according to the military.
Israel has launched numerous operations into Gaza since the June 25 abduction of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants in a cross-border raid. The military campaigned is aimed at securing Cpl. Gilad Shalit's release and ending Palestinian attacks against Israel.