IDF: Israeli civilian spotted crossing into Gaza

The event comes after two additional Israeli citizens entered the Gaza Strip and have not been heard from since.

July 12, 2016 18:09
1 minute read.
Gaza border fence

IDF vehicle drives along Gaza border fence [file]. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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An Israeli civilian was spotted crossing the border into Gaza, the IDF said on Tuesday.

The civilian is a Beduin man.  No further details were immediately available.

Palestinian authorities did not immediately comment, but witnesses in the Gaza Strip reported Israeli spotter aircraft overhead.

The event comes after two additional Israeli citizens entered the Gaza Strip and have not been heard from since.

On September 7, 2014, Avraham Mengistu, 29, from Ashkelon, crossed the security fence into the northern Gaza Strip, climbing over the barrier near the Mediterranean Coast. Soldiers who were summoned to the scene called on Mengistu to return to Israel, but he ignored them and continued into the Hamas-run enclave, according to senior Israeli officials.

“According to credible intelligence, Mengistu is being held against his will by Hamas in Gaza,” said Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the IDF coordinator of government activities in the territories.

The second Israeli currently believed to be in Gaza is Beduin Hisham al-Sayed. His father, Sha'aban al-Sayed, stated that his son has traversed the border with Gaza twice before, and both times he had been immediately returned.

According to al-Sayed, his son suffers from schizophrenia. He added that when his son crossed into the Gaza Strip in April 2015, it wasn't the first time he had displayed such behavior.

Reuters contributed to this article.

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