IDF Cripples Terror Attack Along Gaza Border

IDF Cripples Terror Attack Along Gaza Border

Four Palestinians armed with RPGs, assault rifles and grenades attempted to infiltrate into Israel

The IDF foiled a pre-dawn terrorist attack along the Gaza Strip border on Saturday when it shot four armed Palestinians attempting to infiltrate into southern Israel.

“We stopped a very large and significant terrorist attack,” IDF spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said.

According to the military, the incident began at 4 a.m. when four men were observed approaching the fence. The group, armed with AK-47 assault rifles, RPG launchers and hand grenades, were shot dead after one of the men scaled the border fence and hurled a grenade at Golani Brigade soldiers.

There were no casualties or injuries among the troops.

Following the incident Israeli artillery struck two locations east of Deir el-Balah in the center of the Hamas-run enclave.

According to reports in Gaza, three of the four Palestinians killed were members of the Hamas unit responsible for preventing Gazans from approaching the border fence to infiltrate into Israel. They were said to have been pursuing a fourth Palestinian who had been carrying explosives.

The three were identified by Palestinian media as Abdullah Hamaida, 21, Abdullah a-Ghari, 19, and Ahmed Adini, 20.

Manelis disputed the reports, saying that all four were armed and were seen moving together towards the border fence. “There is absolutely no way that they were part of Hamas border group. They planned a terror attack,” he said, adding “The four were seen acting as a group the entire time.”

According to Manelis, the four were all wearing uniforms and armed with weapons, food, wire cutters and a medical kit. “We are still not sure if they were targeting troops or civilians, but we understand that this was a planned attack. You don’t wake up one day and plan to carry out an attack and arm yourself with all these weapons,” he said.

While the IDF hasn’t yet determined which group is behind the foiled attack, “Hamas is responsible for everything that happens in the Strip,” Manelis said. “There are incidents in which we can say there is a difference of one person who plans an attack like last week alone and there are others, like this one, which we see with this one which was a planned group attack.”

The remains of the terrorists are in Israeli custody, Manelis said, not expanding if their bodies would be returned.

Hamas spokesperson Abdul Latif al-Qanoon was quoted by the Gaza-based Safa News agency as saying that “the occupation committed a new crime against a group of youth angry at the ongoing crimes and systematic terrorism and ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip.”

Qanoon warned that “the continuation of the crimes of the Zionist occupation and aggressive behavior and the unjust siege of Gaza will prompt angry and rebellious youth to respond,” and stressed that “The Zionist occupation bears the consequences of the anger and pressure experienced by our people because of the continued siege of the Gaza Strip.”

Last week, an IDF officer and two soldiers were injured and a Hamas gunman killed in an exchange of fire at the border in the area of Kissufim in southern Israel.

The Hamas operative was identified as Hani Abu Salah, a member of Hamas’ border patrol and the brother of Fadi Abu Salah, a disabled Palestinian man who was killed by IDF fire during one of the weekly Great Return March protests along the border in May 2018.

Abu Salah, who was wearing a uniform and was armed with grenades and a Kalashnikov, infiltrated into Israel from the southern edge of Gaza and opened fire towards Golani Brigade troops who were deployed to the area, moderately injuring an officer.

According to Manelis, the suspect threw at least one grenade towards the patrol. Two other soldiers were lightly injured, one by shrapnel and one in his eardrum from his own firing, the IDF spokesperson said.

Abu Salah’s body remains in Israeli territory.

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