One Israel Defence Forces soldier was killed in an exchange of fire on the Israel-Gaza border this morning. A Palestinian gunman, also involved in the incident, was killed.
According to media reports, the exchange of fire occurred after militants, using the heavy fog covering the area, were able to reach the security fence, breach it and infiltrate into Israel. At approximately 5.30 A.M. (local time), the IDF spotted and armed man breaching the border, and sent soldiers from the Golani Brigade to the area to engage the militants, who opened fire. The ensuing gunfight left one soldier mortally wounded.
An IDF Spokesperson’s Unit statement said that the force was able to thwart the infiltration attempt. “The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians or IDF soldiers and will continue to fight any element which employs terror against the State of Israel,” the statement read. “The Hamas terror group is responsible for any such acts,” the statement added.
Palestinian media sources later reported of Israel Air Force activity and explosions in the Gaza Strip. The IDF confirmed that the IAF had struck open fields in the Gaza Strip.
The incident occurs one week after two IDF soldiers from the Golani brigade were lightly to moderately wounded by Palestinian sniper fire near the Kisufim border crossing. IDF forces returned fire toward the source of the shooting.
In recent months, there has been an increase in violent activity along the Israel-Gaza border, including the planting of explosive devices, shootings and RPG fire.