Gaza Border Clash Leaves IDF soldier and Terrorist Dead
Israeli soldier killed by Palestinian who broke into Israel, before being shot dead himself
An IDF soldier was killed early Friday morning by an armed Palestinian who crossed into Israel from Gaza, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The Palestinian crossed the Gaza border fence at 5 a.m. and was able to enter Israel. An IDF reconnaissance unit and a force from the Golani Brigade 12th Battalion reportedly arrived at the scene, before shots were fired leaving an IDF soldier dead. This prompted the Israeli troops to open fire and shot the Palestinian dead.
The Israeli soldier killed was Golani Staff-Sergeant Netanel Moshiashvili, a 21-year-old from Ashkelon.
The IDF said the gunman entered Israel with the intention of killing civilians and had ambushed soldiers sent to intercept him, according to Reuters.
The Golani battalion is currently deployed in the South to conduct patrols along the border in order to protect communities in the area including kibbutz Ein Hashlosha and kibbutz Nirim, according to the Jerusalem Post.
“Due to the fast response by the force a larger terrorist attack in the area was thwarted,” Col. Tal Hermoni, commander of the Gaza Division’s Southern Brigade told reporters.
“We are in a state of constant fighting and our mission is to protect the residents, and we do that with resolve and determination.”
Israel blamed the incident on Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, however sources in Gaza said the dead gunman was affiliated with the Islamic Jihad, which operates independently of Hamas.
“The Hamas terror organization is solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said in a statement.
The Islamic Jihad faction denied the accusation, but welcomed the attack in a text message sent to journalists, according to the Associated Press. The group suggested the infiltrator, who they identified as Ahmad Nassar, might have been acting alone, calling him a “martyr who has carried out the heroic attack.”
Later in the day, two rockets landed in the Eshkol Regional Council in southern Israel, causing no damages or injuries, the IDF reported. The IAF responded by striking targets in the southern Gaza Strip, recording direct hits, Army Radio reported. Gaza health official Adham Abu Salmia told the Associated Press that three people were seriously wounded when the Israeli airstrike targeted their vehicle.