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Israeli forces killed three Hamas gunmen in Gaza.

Tanks posted in the northern Gaza Strip fired on a Palestinian mortar crew that was spotted preparing to shell Israeli border positions early Wednesday. Three of the gunmen, all Hamas members, were killed.

Israel has exacted almost daily Hamas casualties in Gaza under a recent directive from Defense Minister Ehud Barak to expand operations against the armed wing of the dominant Palestinian Islamist group.

Israeli forces are also on standby for a possible large-scale invasion of Gaza should the frequent Palestinian rocket fire from the territory intensify.

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