Israeli soldiers ride a tank after returning to Israel from Gaza.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Shots were fired at IDF troops stationed on the border near the southern Gaza Strip on Monday morning, the military said.
The soldiers were securing civilian engineering work near the border fence when they came under fire.There were no reports of injury or damage in the incident, but according to Channel 10 news, farmers in the area were advised by the army to stop working in the fields and to remain in their homes.
The IDF responded shortly afterward with tank fire targeting Gaza-based Hamas positions, which according to Palestinian media was located south of the Al Buraige refugee camp.
Earlier in December two Palestinian men were arrested after crossing into Israel from the Strip, one of whom had been armed with a knife and grenade. In November the IDF fired shots to disperse Palestinians trying to breach the border and in October four rockets emanating from the Gaza Strip hit Israel, leading the air force to strike Hamas targets.
Israel holds the militant group Hamas, which controls the Strip, responsible for any violence near the Gaza border.
The cross-border incident comes days after a Hamas militant was assassinated in Tunisia.
According to Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, Mohammed Zawari, who had been a member of the group for 10 years and supervising its drone program was gunned down in his car near his home close to the city of Sfax on Thursday.
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Hamas has blamed the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence agency for his assassination and has warned that “"The enemy must know the blood of the leader Zawari will not go in vain.”
There was no official indication, however, that the two events were related and Tunisian authorities have said that 8 Tunisian nationals have been arrested in relation to the killing.
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