Israel conducted air strikes earlier in the week, which killed two Palestinians, and destroyed civilian houses [EPA]

A Palestinian has been killed and at least two others injured by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip, local hospital officials said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said on Saturday that troops on patrol along the Israeli side of the border fence with the Gaza Strip heard a loud explosion and responded with fire towards "areas suspected as points where terrorists operate".

Al Jazeera's Frost Over the World asks: 'What does the future hold for Israel-Palestine relations?' 

It was the first deadly incident in the central Gaza Strip in more than a week.

On December 8, an Israeli air strike on a car in Gaza City killed two Palestinian fighters who the Israeli military said had been planning an attack on Israeli civilians and soldiers along Israel's border with Egypt's Sinai peninsula.

Gaza fighters struck back by firing rockets into Israel, causing no casualties.

Violence between Israel and Gaza fighters had slightly abated recently, though tit-for-tat incidents in which rockets from Gaza are exchanged with air strikes from Israel, have continued a few times a month.

Israel is set to release 550 Palestinian prisoners to the Gaza Strip on Sunday in the second, final phase of a swap in
which Israel agreed with Gaza's Hamas rulers to release 1,027 prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier held captive for five years, who was freed in the first phase in October.

The Hamas movement has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, while Mahmoud Abbas, the president of Palestinian Authority (PA), remains dominant in the occupied West Bank.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies