Israeli forces killed two Palestinian militants in a clash along the Israel-Gaza border on Thursday, Palestinian medical officials said.

An Israeli military spokesman said soldiers were on patrol on the Israeli side of the border fence when they were fired upon from inside Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas.

The soldiers returned fire, the spokesman said, without giving further details.

Palestinian medical officials said militants confronted a small Israeli force who had crossed into the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya and a firefight broke out. The two militants were killed by an Israeli helicopter that responded to the fighting, they said

The clash followed a brief lull in a week-long round of cross-border violence in which 12 Palestinian militants and an Israeli civilian were killed.

(Reporting by Nidal Almughrabi)