An Israeli army spokeswoman said the two were spotted on Friday in an area prohibited for movement. She could not confirm, however, whether the Palestinians were dead or wounded.

"The Israeli Defence Forces spotted two suspicious figures in an area prohibited for movement in northern Gaza. As they were climbing over the fence, the force opened fire and identified hitting them," she said.

Troops would approach the two suspects in the coming hours and only then would they determine their condition, she added.

Palestinian killed

A Palestinian resistance fighter was killed by Israeli occupation forces after wounding two soldiers in the Gaza Strip on Thursday.

An Israeli military source said that troops opened fire after the fighter had attacked an Israeli checkpoint with grenades and gunfire and wounded two soldiers.

Jewish settlers in occupied Gaza said a Palestinian passerby was also wounded in the incident at the Orchan junction, north of an illegal colony.

The soldiers were the first Israeli casualties in nearly two weeks following the deployment of Palestinian police in some parts of Gaza, under orders from the recently elected Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed, wounded and arrested in the same period of time.