Israeli Beduin returns from Gaza

Hamas, Israeli officials reportedly coordinate transfer of Hura resident.

February 3, 2010 02:57
1 minute read.
erez crossing 298 ap

erez crossing 298 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])

A Beduin man who jumped the border fence and entered the Gaza Strip near Kibbutz Nir Am on Tuesday afternoon, returned safely to Israeli territory on Wednesday morning.

Officials from Hamas and Israel, including Israeli Arab MKs, coordinated his transfer back to Israel, Army Radio reported. The man, said to be mentally ill, was in good condition.

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IDF troops on Tuesday spotted the man heading in the direction of the Gaza border. The IDF searched the border area, and leaders were briefed on the situation.

The man's family, from the Negev village of Hura, was lobbying for his return, amid fears that he had been abducted by Hamas.

The man had previously tried to reach the Strip, as well as Egypt and Jordan..

In a similar incident in December last year, IDF soldiers and Defense Ministry security guards shot and killed an Israeli man who attempted to infiltrate the Gaza Strip near the Erez Crossing.

Defense officials said that Tel Aviv resident Yakir Ben-Melech, 34, arrived at the crossing, parked his car and began walking towards the crossing's security fence. Security guards stationed at the Erez Crossing, the main terminal used to cross between Israel and Gaza, called on him to stop and fired some dozen warning shots in the air.

When Ben-Melech ignored the shots and continued trying to climb the fence, the guards opened fire at Ben-Melech's legs, in accordance with military regulations. He bled to death as a result of a gunshot wound to the leg, IDF sources said.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

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