Friday, January 7, 2011
Five IDF soldiers wounded in firefight on Gaza border
A group of militants apparently laying explosives on the border with Israel opened fire on the soldiers.
Five IDF soldiers were wounded on Friday night in a firefight with Palestinian militants near the border between Israel and Gaza. The five wounded soldiers were treated on the spot and then evacuated by helicopter to Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva.
An IDF paratroopers patrol noticed a group of people armed and approaching the barrier separating Gaza from Israel, under cover or darkness and fog on Friday evening, close to the Kibbutz Be'eri. It is presumed that the armed group was planning to lay explosives at the foot of the barrier.
A firefight broke out on the spot, taking the IDF soldiers by surprise and wounding four of them. The soldiers returned fire in the direction of the shooters, but it has not yet been ascertained whether the militants were hit by the IDF fire.
There has been a marked increase in violence in the region in the last few weeks, both from Palestinian attempts to wage attacks on Israel and from IDF actions in the area. On Wednesday night, IDF forces killed two Palestinians near the Gaza border. The IDF Spokesperson reported that the Palestinians were killed while trying to infiltrate into Israel.
On Tuesday, IAF planes bombed Gaza tunnels that are used to smuggle materials into the strip, and another site in central Gaza. The attack, a joint operation executed by the IDF and the Shin Bet, came as a response to rockets launched from Gaza into Israeli territory.