Gaza man fired at Israeli soldiers

A Palestinian man from Gaza was killed this morning after he broke through the border fence, opened fire on Israeli soldiers and threw a hand grenade.

An Israeli officer was moderately wounded and two other soldiers were lightly injured after the gunman broke through the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip and opened fire at around 02:00. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) identified the gunman as Hani Abu Salah, a member of the Hamas unit responsible for policing border protests along the security fence. His body remains in Israeli territory.

The IDF Spokesperson Brigadier General Ronen Manelis said the Gaza militant was armed with an AK-47 rifle and several hand grenades. “At this point we understand the terrorist acted independently.” Manelis added: “IDF troops spotted a suspect approaching the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip. Following the identification, troops arrived at the scene and necessary steps were taken. After crossing the security fence into Israeli territory, the assailant fired at the troops. The troops located the assailant and responded with fire towards him, resulting in the assailant’s death.  Furthermore, a Hamas military post was targeted by an IDF tank during the incident.”

The injured soldiers were evacuated to Soroka hospital in Beer Sheva for medical treatment and their families have been notified, according to the Jerusalem Post. The incident occurred in the area where IDF is currently building an underground security barrier along the border to prevent the construction of underground tunnels.

Channel 13 reported that the family of Lt. Hadar Goldin, whose body has been held by Hamas since Operation Protective Edge in 2014, urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to release Abu Salah’s body until Hamas return their son’s body.