Palestinian residents said the Israeli forces crossed the border in the area of the town of Beit Hanoun, in the northeastern corner of Gaza, opposite the Israeli town of Sderot, a frequent target of Palestinian rockets.

The Israeli vehicles were positioned in Palestinian farmland outside the town, the residents said.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

Ten days ago Israeli forces carried out a two-day sweep of northern Gaza, entering Beit Hanoun and another town, Beit Lahiya, looking for militants.