IDF convoy comes under mortar shell fire

Barrage hits meters away from OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant during tour of area.

yoav galant 224.88 (photo credit: IDF)
yoav galant 224.88
(photo credit: IDF)
OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant came under mortar fire on Sunday morning as he toured a Gaza-periphery community together with officials from the Eshkol Regional Council. Three mortar shells hit next to Galant as he was walking through fields outside Kibbutz Nir Oz, near the southern Gaza Strip, together with council head Haim Yelin. One of the shells struck 20 meters from the group, which took refuge in concrete structures that had been stationed in the fields by the IDF. No one was wounded during the attack. Earlier in the day, Gazans fired four mortar shells at the Kerem Shalom crossing. Yelin said that the objective of the tour was to assess the situation along the border and to find ways to protect farmers who have come under sniper fire while working their fields near Gaza. A week ago, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter was involved in a similar incident when the Nizmit Hill observation point he was touring near Gaza came under Palestinian sniper fire. One of his aides was wounded and following the attack, Galant decided to close the lookout point to visitors. Also on Sunday, defense officials said that the Nahal Oz fuel depot - target of last Wednesday's terrorist infiltration - would not reopen for at least one more day. Officials said the fuel terminal would remain closed until the investigation into the infiltration was completed and security was restored. The officials said that there enough diesel fuel had been transferred before the attack to enable the Gazans to operate their power plant for several more days. Various cabinet ministers expressed contempt before the weekly cabinet meeting at Hamas's claims of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, even as the organization carried out attacks aimed at disrupting the flow of fuel and humanitarian aid to the Strip. Construction and Housing Minister Ze'ev Boim said that it was impertinent and vulgar for Hamas to carry out a terrorist attack against the fuel depot at Nahal Oz that killed two Israelis, and at the same time to cry afterward that there was a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. "That's a lie," he said. Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit echoed Boim's comments, saying there was no humanitarian crisis. "It is an artificial crisis," he said. "It is a Hamas lie meant to create pressure [against Israel] in the international community."