Israeli soldiers along the Gaza fence came under fire Wednesday evening, the Israeli army said in a statement. One soldier was moderately wounded in the incident, which happened along the southern part of the fence, the army said.
In response, the army says it targeted seven Hamas military posts with tank fire. Palestinian health officials say three Palestinians were killed and one other was critically wounded. The identity of the injured person was not immediately clear.
In a Whatsapp statement sent to journalists, Hamas said the three were members of its armed Qassam Brigades wing.
Health officials named the men as Ahmed Munir Suleiman Al-Bassous, 28, Obaida Asad Khader Farwana, 29, and Mohammed Tawfiq Mohammed Al-Ara'ir, 27. All three died at Malaka, to the east of Gaza City in the north of the Strip.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum in a statement said Hamas "cannot remain silent" in the face of the fatal attack.
The clash comes five days after the last serious exchange along the fence that separates Israel and Gaza.
One Israeli soldier was killed by gunfire from militants inside the coastal enclave. Three Hamas militants, and a fourth man, were killed by Israeli tank fire. Mediation efforts by Egypt and the United Nations succeeded in bringing a halt to the exchanges after about six hours.