Gaza man throws grenades at security fence, is shot and arrested
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Boltcutters and knife found in suspect's possession

Gaza man throws grenades at security fence, is shot and arrested

Border incident comes after massive, deadly clash between Israel and Hamas ends with a shaky ceasefire

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

A Palestinian uses a slingshot to hurl a stone towards Israeli forces across the fence during clashes by the border with Israel east of Gaza city on July 13, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS)
A Palestinian uses a slingshot to hurl a stone towards Israeli forces across the fence during clashes by the border with Israel east of Gaza city on July 13, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS)

Israeli troops shot and arrested a Palestinian man who threw a number of grenades at the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, the army said.

The grenades failed to explode.

The incident came less than a day into a fragile ceasefire between Israel and terror groups in the Strip, after more than 460 rockets and mortars were fired into southern Israel over the course of 25 hours, killing one person. The military responded to the rockets with airstrikes throughout the Gaza Strip.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, when he was arrested, the suspect was found to be in possession of a pair of boltcutters and a knife.

His condition was not immediately known.

The suspect was handed over to the Shin Bet security service for questioning.

Officials assess the damage to a house after it was hit by a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip, in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, Israel, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Otherwise, life in Israeli communities near Gaza slowly returned to normal on Wednesday after a quiet night signaled that the ceasefire was holding.

Schools, higher education institutes and businesses were to reopen and farmers could again work their fields, many of them adjacent to the Gaza Strip. Train services south of Ashkelon also resumed.

There were no reports of rocket fire into Israel, or of Israeli strikes on Gaza, since Tuesday afternoon, when the ceasefire reportedly went into effect. Palestinians said the truce was brokered by Egypt.

Israel has yet to officially confirm the existence of a ceasefire, but senior diplomatic officials indicated that Jerusalem would abide by it so long as terror groups in the Strip did as well.

In addition, the IDF Home Front Command on Tuesday night removed all restrictions on residents of southern Israel, declaring a “return to normalcy.”

Nevertheless, the IDF still kept reinforcements in place surrounding Gaza.

IDF forces seen gathering near the border with Gaza in southern Israel on November 13, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The calm was not welcomed by all, with many in Israel demanding that the government do more to end the rocket threat from Hamas.

In a statement to residents, the head of the Eshkol regional council, Gadi Yarkoni, said: “We’ve had a difficult two days. Two days that are a continuation of life in the shadow of terrorism and a pendulum swinging between emergency and normalcy for eight months straight.”

He said he expected Israeli leaders and the army to “give us true peace and true calm” that would allow the communities to thrive. “We cannot accept the continued hopeless reality of life under the threat of terrorism that includes fires, balloons and rockets.”

According to the military, over 460 rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel over the course of 25 hours on Monday and Tuesday. The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted over 100 of them. Most of the rest landed in open fields, but dozens landed inside Israeli cities and towns, killing one person, injuring dozens more, and causing significant property damage.

In response to the rocket and mortar attacks, the Israeli military said it targeted approximately 160 sites in the Gaza Strip connected to the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups, including four facilities that the army designated as “key strategic assets.”

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