St.-Sgt. Netanel Moshiashvili was killed on Friday morning in a clash with a
Palestinian gunman who had infiltrated Israel from the Gaza Strip.
IDF said the gunman crossed into Israel at 5 a.m. after cutting through the
security fence using “sophisticated means.”
A nearby reconnaissance unit
detected the shooter and a unit from the Golani Brigade’s 12th Battalion was
immediately sent to the scene.
The incident came a week after a
Palestinian sniper in the same central-Gaza area shot and wounded two
While fears were that the terrorist had planned to enter a
nearby kibbutz, either Nirim or Ein Hashlosha, the IDF was also considering the
possibility that the terrorist’s objective was to kidnap a soldier.
Southern Command was investigating how the gunman reached the fence without
The small unit from Battalion 12 engaged the terrorist.
Moshiashvili, 21, from Ashkelon, was killed. The troops returned fire, killing
the gunman who was later identified as Ahmed Nassir.
“Due to the fast
response by the force, a larger terrorist attack in the area was thwarted,” Col.
Tal Hermoni, commander of the Gaza Division’s Southern Brigade, told reporters.
“We are in a state of constant fighting and our mission is to protect the
residents, and we do that with resolve and determination.”
Gaza told Reuters that Nassir was affiliated with Islamic Jihad but the group
denied responsibility, suggesting he might have been acting
Several hours after the gunfight, the Israel Air Force fired
missiles at a number of men spotted in southern Gaza preparing to launch rockets
into Israel. Palestinians said three people were wounded in the strike and the
IDF noted that more than 270 rockets have been fired into Israel since the
beginning of the year.
The IDF was not expected to escalate its response
to the infiltration and will likely try to contain the incident to prevent
further hostilities with terrorists factions in Gaza.
funeral was held in Ashkelon on Friday.
Reuters and Jerusalem Post staff
contributed to this report.