Army: Truck bomb was aimed at kidnap

A truck explosion on the Gaza-Israel border was part of an effort to abduct Israeli soldiers, the Israeli army said.

The truck exploded on the Palestinian side of Erez Crossing into the Gaza Strip on Thursday. The only apparent casualty was the driver. Islamic Jihad later claimed responsibility for the suicide attack, saying it worked together with the Fatah-affiliated Al Aksa Brigade.

On Friday, the Israeli army said it believed the purpose of the attack was to blow a breach in the fence, enabling a jeep full of Palestinian gunmen to pass through and abduct Israeli soldiers. Israeli combat aircraft fired on a jeep fleeing the scene.

A similar cross-border raid two years by Hamas-affiliated gunmen resulted in the deaths of two Israeli soldiers and the capture of Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

In separate incidents Friday, Israeli forces killed five Palestinian militants, according to Palestinian reports. Three were killed when Israeli combat aircraft hit gunmen affiliated with Hamas in the southern Gaza Strip. Islamic Jihad said two of its militants died in fighting in central Gaza.

In other incidents Friday, an Israeli soldier was moderately wounded in a firefight in southern Gaza, and Israeli troops uncovered missiles and a rocket launcher in a schoolyard in northern Gaza.

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