Palestinians protesting on the Gaza side of the border between Israel and Gaza, June 2018.
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
IDF troops opened fire on four Palestinians who infiltrated into Israel from the southern Gaza Strip on Monday and tried to set fire to an abandoned army position.
According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the men crossed the perimeter fence into Israel east of Rafah City armed with firecrackers and tried to ignite an abandoned sniper position.
An IDF force identified the group and pursued it, opening fire on them. As a result of the shooting one Palestinian was killed, another critically injured and another arrested and transferred to security officials for interrogation.
The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry reported that the fourth was a 16-year-old who was taken to hospital in moderate condition after being shot in the shoulder.
During the incident, an IDF force reported that shots were fired at them, the military said.
“The force acted quickly against the violation of Israeli sovereignty and the attempt to harm security infrastructures,” read a statement released by the IDF.
“Hamas is responsible for everything in and out of the Gaza Strip and stands behind the attempts to cross the fence and damage security infrastructures. The IDF views these events seriously and will continue to act in a sharp and aggressive manner,” it added.
The incident comes a day after another group of Palestinians breached the border fence in southern Gaza and set afire IDF equipment at an empty sniper outpost before escaping back into the Hamas-run coastal enclave.
Last week, an IDF tank fired at two Palestinian teenagers that the IDF said were trying to infiltrate into Israel from Rafah. One of them, 17-year-old Abdel Fattah Abu Azoum, was hit in the head and fatally wounded, dying several hours later. According to the army, firebombs were found at the scene.
Gazans have been protesting along the border with Israel since March 30 as part of what organizers have called the “Great March of Return.” Over 130 Palestinian protesters have been killed by IDF fire and thousands more injured.
Demonstrators have launched hundreds of kites, balloons and helium-filled latex condoms with incendiary and explosive devices on a daily basis into Israeli territory, sparking fires that have destroyed thousands of acres of farmland, parks and forests.
Hamas officials have said that the protests, which also demand an end to a grinding Israeli and Egyptian blockade on Gaza, will continue until their demands are met.
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