Armed Palestinian arrested after infiltrating into Israel from Gaza

An explosive device and a knife were found near the man who crossed the border fence near Kibbutz Ein Haslosha.

The knife the infiltrator from Gaza held as he was arrested (photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
The knife the infiltrator from Gaza held as he was arrested
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
Soldiers thwarted a possible terrorist attack late Wednesday night after an armed Palestinian infiltrated into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.
The man was identified while he approached the perimeter fence and infiltrated into Israel near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, which is located near Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, the IDF said.
Troops who arrived at the scene captured the man near the fence and found a suspected explosive device and knife nearby.
The device was inspected by sappers, and the man was taken in for further questioning.
The military said there was no danger to the residents of the kibbutz and the other communities nearby.
The incident came several hours after the security cabinet approved a new policy allowing Israel to hold on to the bodies of all Palestinian attackers, regardless of whether they were affiliated with Hamas or any other terrorist organization.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the decision would strengthen Israel’s deterrence policy.
“Refusal to return the bodies of terrorists is part of our commitment of maintaining the security of Israeli citizens and, of course, to bring home” the bodies of IDF soldiers killed in battle and Israeli soldiers missing in action, he said. “I hope our enemy understands and internalizes the message well.”
The infiltration also came shortly after Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire following close to three weeks of heightened tensions, with hundreds of incendiary and explosive balloons launched from the coastal enclave and more than 100 retaliatory airstrikes by Israel against Hamas.
According to reports, the Qatari-mediated agreement includes a pledge to carry out several infrastructure projects in Gaza, increasing the Qatari cash grant to thousands of Palestinian families, reopening all the border crossings with Israel and expanding the fishing zone.
In addition, there will also be an increase in fuel supply to the power plant in the Gaza Strip to solve the electricity crisis there.
Other reports quoted sources close to Hamas as claiming that the understandings also require Israel to facilitate the entry of medical supplies and medicine into the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of an increasing number of coronavirus cases.
Following the ceasefire agreement, Hamas’s deputy leader in Gaza, Khalil al-Hayya, said there would be another round of violence if Israel did not fulfill the terms of the agreement within two months.
“Our demand is for the occupation to follow all of the prior agreements without procrastinating or delay,” he said in an interview with Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV. “We will give the occupation two months, and we will monitor its behavior in implementing projects and bringing in other projects. They need to implement the projects.”
On Wednesday, Eilat’s Almog Beach was evacuated after a Jordanian swam across the border. The incident ended harmlessly.
The Jordanian said he had infiltrated into Israel because he wanted to escape the economic situation in Jordan, Channel 12 reported.
The IDF said an initial investigation found that the incident did not seem to be terrorism-related.
Khaled Abu Toameh and Tzvi Joffre contributed to this report.