TAIBEH, Israel (AP) _ Israeli security forces Thursday tried to storm a Palestinian militants' hide-out in an apartment building in this Arab town in northern Israel, and two Palestinians were killed, officials said.

A third guerrilla was captured, and a fourth apparently escaped, radio reports said. A member of Israel's special anti-terrorist squad was wounded in the foot.

The four gunmen were members of the Islamic militant group Hamas, Palestinian security officials said. Hamas has carried out a series of terror attacks to disrupt Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

Israeli security forces tried to storm the building before dawn. Neighbors said they heard the sound of gunfire and explosions.

Five hours later, Israeli forces still surrounded the two-story building in the center of Taibeh, an Arab town north of Tel Aviv. Israeli commandos stood on the roof, their weapons at the ready, and a helicopter hovered above. Security forces cleared the area.

Police spokesman Uzi Sanduri said security forces ringed the apartment after receiving information that the guerrillas were hiding there.

The mayor of Taibeh, Aisam Masarwe, said several Palestinians had been arrested in connection with the raid.

Lawmaker Gideon Ezra, a former deputy head of the Shin Bet security service, said it appeared the guerrillas were preparing an attack inside Israel.