All eyes were
on the Palestinian terrorist factions, to see how they would respond on Tuesday
evening, after the IDF launched a large-scale retaliation in Gaza, to an
unprovoked Palestinian cross-border sniper attack that killed a young Defense
The attack marked Israel’s first casualty from Gazan
terrorism since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012.
Shukri Abu Latyef, 22, a Beduin Israeli from Rahat, was working for Shabbat
Drilling & Excavation Co., contracted by the Defense Ministry to carry out
engineering work on the border fence, when he was shot in the chest. He was
airlifted to Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba where he later
“This was his first day working on the Gaza Strip border, and
unfortunately it was also his last day of life,” Latyef’s cousin
“The incident occurred very close to the border,” a security source
The IDF employed the air force, Armored Corps and infantry to
strike six targets in Gaza, affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad,
constituting Israel’s largest military response in the Strip since Operation
Pillar of Defense.
Gaza hospital officials said a three-year-old girl was
killed by shrapnel during the strike on the Bureij facility.
standing with other family members outside their home, near the camp, and her
mother and two of her brothers were wounded, the officials said. Hamas released
a photo of the girl’s body wrapped in a blue blanket in a morgue.
strikes’ targets included training sites, weapons manufacturing facilities and a
concealed rocket launcher in central Gaza as well as in the north of the Strip,
the IDF said.
During the IDF’s wave of attacks, infantry soldiers struck
targets with anti-tank missiles.
“We take a severe view of this, because
it occurred on Israeli territory,” a senior security source said of the
He described the targets hit in Gaza as “terror
infrastructure targets” belonging to Palestinian Islamic Jihad and
“We’re seeking a strong response, but also to contain this. We do
not want to escalate, but we are on high alert in case this deteriorates,” the
“We’re prepared for further steps if necessary,” the source
said. “We identified accurate strikes of the targets. All of our planes returned
to their bases safely,” the IDF spokesman added.
have made it their goal to harm Israeli civilians. The IDF will act with
determination against any element seeking to carry out terror against the State
of Israel. Hamas is the address and it is responsible.”
Hamas, and witnesses, said an IAF aircraft bombed the group’s training camps in
Khan Younis and Bureij. Witnesses said IDF tanks fired shells east of Gaza
An IDF spokesman said the military had limited the access of
farmers working in the immediate vicinity of the fence in the aftermath of the
In a separate incident, a Palestinian youth who approached the
fence on the border with northern Gaza entered the closed security zone,
ignoring calls by soldiers to vacate the area. He was shot in the leg and
evacuated to a Gazan hospital by the Red Crescent.
shooting comes after a spate of attempts by Palestinians to plant explosives
along the security fence and to damage the barrier, in recent
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said there was “no direct relation”
between terrorist attacks in Israel over the past two days and the Gazan
“We take a most severe view of them. In Gaza,
Hamas is sovereign, and we see it as being responsible for today’s shooting from
the Strip and the rocket launches at Israel over the past few days. We will not
allow a disruption to life in the South, and we will respond decisively and
painfully to attacks on our sovereignty and against our civilians and soldiers,”
the defense minister said.
He advised Hamas “not to test our patience,”
calling on Gaza’s ruling regime to exercise its authority on the ground to
prevent further attacks on Israel by other organizations.
“If there won’t
be quiet in Israel, there won’t be quiet in Gaza either,” Ya’alon
He ordered the Kerem Shalom border crossing closed to goods until
further notice, due to the security situation.
Shortly after midnight, on
Sunday, Palestinian terrorists fired a rocket into southern Israel, triggering
an air raid siren, sending residents fleeing for cover.
located the rocket’s remains after sunrise in an Israeli village, where it fell
between homes, failing to cause wounds or damages.
Yasser Okbi, Jerusalem
Post staff and Reuters contributed to this report.
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