IDF thwarts attack on soldiers in northern Gaza Strip

Terrorists attempt to fire anti-tank missile at force that returns fire injuring 2; incident comes after IAF strikes multiple targets in Gaza.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
March 22, 2011 12:47
2 minute read.
IDF soldiers on tank near Gaza border

IDF soldiers on tank near Gaza border 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

 
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The IDF successfully thwarted an attack on soldiers in the northern Gaza strip on Tuesday, the IDF spokesperson said.

An IDF force identified a group of terrorists preparing to fire an anti-tank missile at them and fired on the men, successfully striking their target.

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Palestinian sources said that two people were injured in the attack.

The IDF operation came after another Kassam rocket was fired into Israel early on Tuesday morning, falling in open fields in the Eshkol Regional Council area. No one was injured in the attack.

The IDF Spokesman Unit overnight Monday confirmed that IAF aircraft attacked two terror tunnels, two sites used for the manufacturing and storage of weapons and two further terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip.

"Direct targets were identified and all planes returned safely to their base," a statement by the IDF read. "The attack was in response to recently conducted attacks on southern communities," the statement continued. 



"The IDF will not tolerate the continued attack of settlements close to Gaza," the IDF statement said.

Hamas medical officials said 19 people were wounded in the Israeli air strikes, including four terrorists, seven children and two women.

In an apparent bid to avoid an Israeli military strike in the Gaza Strip, Hamas reiterated on Monday its commitment to preserving the unofficial truce with Israel.

Earlier on Monday, the Israel Air Force bombed a terror tunnel in the northern Gaza Strip  that was being dug under the border so terrorists could infiltrate into Israel.

The IDF said that a number of Hamas operatives were also hit in the strike that was carried out jointly by the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).

The IDF said that the strike came in response to the weekend attacks by Hamas that included close to 50 mortar shells and at least two anti-tank missiles.

On Monday, The Jerusalem Post reported on mounting concern within the IDF regarding increased efforts by Palestinian terrorist groups to dig tunnels under the border that could be used to infiltrate into Israel and perpetrate attacks.

According to IDF sources, the number of tunnels has grown in recent years. Each Hamas brigade commander is under orders to dig “terror tunnels” along the section of the border under his command.

Tunnels have been used in the past by Hamas and other terrorist groups to infiltrate into Israel. The terrorists who abducted IDF soldier Gilad Schalit from his military post near Kerem Shalom, crossed into Israel through an underground tunnel.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

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