Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday night to request an immediate move to crack down on the armed groups in Gaza.

According to Mofaza, Palestinian armed groups have launched more than 80 local made shells into Gush Katif settlement bloc since Saturday.

The shellings came in retaliation for the killing of three Palestinian youths, who were shot dead by Israeli soldiers on Saturday near the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah.

An army source confirmed Sunday an earlier claim that the three 14-years-old children killed where involved in weapons smuggling, saying soldiers who shot at them behaved properly.

Palestinian official sources rejected army claims, saying the army has extended an official apology for the killing of the three children who were playing soccer in an open field.