(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Less than a week after a Kassam struck a tent in the Zikim Basic Training Base and wounded 69 soldiers, new recruits returned to the base on Sunday, although this time accompanied by IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.
Many parents dropped their children off at the gates of the base and tearfully bid farewell to the soldiers, some of whom had just started basic training last week.
Soldiers that were wounded did not return, because their company had ended basic training the day of the attack.
During his tour of the base, Ashkenazi was accompanied by OC Ground Forces Command Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz and heard from commanders about the work being done to provide protection from Kassam rockets to soldiers serving at the base.
Zikim is located less than two kilometers north of Gaza and soldiers sleep in tents, some of which are surrounded by concrete slabs.
The IDF said that protection for the base was being provided under a "sped-up" process and would be completed in the coming weeks.
Ashkenazi told commanders there that the reality along the Gaza Strip was "complicated" for both soldiers and civilians.
Also Sunday, in two incidents, IDF troops shot and killed two armed Palestinians, in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus and in Hebron.
During a search for terrorists, soldiers from the Paratroopers Brigade shot at killed an armed man. In Hebron, soldiers killed another armed Palestinian who locals said was involved in a gunbattle against a rival Palestinian family when he was shot.
AP contributed to the report.