IDF vehicle in Gaza 311.
(photo credit: Tsafrir Abayov/AP)
Israel’s border with
the Gaza Strip heated up over the weekend when IDF troops successfully
thwarted an attempt by Hamas gunmen to cross the security fence and
commit a terrorist attack.Hamas, which has
scaled back its
rocket fire into Israel since Operation
Cast Lead last year, claimed responsibility for the incident. IDF
sources said that the gunmen likely planned to attack soldiers stationed
along the border, or to infiltrate a nearby Israeli community.
On Friday afternoon, IDF troops
spotted two Palestinian gunmen trying to cross the border fence near
Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, close to Kibbutz Nirim. Givati
Brigade soldiers, accompanied by tanks, shot the two dead, and later
discovered rifles and ammunition magazines on their bodies.
IDF scout moderately hurt near Gaza
cell which had stayed back in Gaza to provide cover for the
infiltrators opened fire at the troops. Security forces sealed off the
four Israeli communities in the area, where thousands of people live,
until the gun-battle was over.
Later in the evening, an IDF
tracker was moderately wounded by sniper fire along the Gaza border. He
was evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba.
The officials said that while Hamas was refraining from firing rockets
into Israel, it was actively involved in attacks along the border and
its operatives were frequently involved in shooting at IDF soldiers
patrolling the Gaza security fence.
Hamas on Friday slammed Israel for giving Hamas legislator Mohammed Abu
Tir, an east Jerusalem resident who was released from prison last week,
until June 19 to leave Jerusalem.
Abu Tir and three other senior Hamas officials were stripped of their
Jerusalem residency papers in 2006, following the abduction of IDF
soldier Gilad Schalit.
AP contributed to this report