Ezz-Eddin Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas Movement, said Saturday it launched a successful commando raid behind the frontlines of the Israeli army "as part of a series of stunning surprises for the enemy.
"Twelve fighters penetrated into the Israeli military post in Abu Meteibaq Jewish settlement, south Israel, through a tunnel and divided into four groups. They lurked there for six hours before ambushing an Israeli patrol," according to a statement by the Palestinian resistance group.
"The four-vehicle patrol was attacked at very close quarters and three vehicles were totally destroyed with all soldiers inside being eliminated while the forth vehicle managed to flee the scene," the statement said.
It put the number of Israeli casualties at six dead and several injuries.
"The attackers seized two M-16 assault rifles of the Israeli enemy the photos of which will be released soon," the statement said.
Eleven fighters returned home safely while the 12th was killed, it revealed.
"The successful commando operation came in retaliation for the blood of our people shed during the Israeli aggression on Gaza over the last days and in allegiance to the souls of our martyrs.
"It aims to send a warning to the enemy that our fighters are eager for an Israeli incursion into Gaza to eliminate Israel's machine of war and dismember its soldiers," the statement added.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army admitted that two soldiers were killed in the battle.
A military spokesman told Israel Radio that nine Palestinian fighters penetrated into Beeri Kibbutz and engaged with the soldiers in a fierce battle, noting that one of the attackers was killed.