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IDF: Gazan tried to get arrested by entering Israel with knife to escape Strip

Military picks up Palestinian who breached security fence; during interrogation, he says he wanted to be detained in order to stay in Israel

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

Illustrative. A Gazan takes bolt cutters to a border fence in footage released by the IDF from May 14 violence at the border (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative. A Gazan takes bolt cutters to a border fence in footage released by the IDF from May 14 violence at the border (Israel Defense Forces)

A Palestinian man who crossed into Israel from the Gaza Strip on Monday was deliberately trying to be arrested in order to remain in Israel, the military said Tuesday.

The Gazan man was spotted by troops as he breached the security fence in the southern Strip on Monday afternoon. He was arrested shortly after entering Israeli territory. A knife was found on the ground nearby, the army said.

The man was taken into custody in order to determine why he crossed into Israel.

“An investigation by security forces determined that the suspect who breached the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip yesterday intended to be caught and moved to Israel,” the army said in a statement.

The suspect also admitted bringing the knife into Israel from Gaza and tossing it aside before his capture.

The military said it intended to return the man to the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

In recent years, as the humanitarian conditions in the coastal enclave have worsened, Israeli security forces have arrested a number of Palestinians who have fled Gaza in favor of Israeli prisons.

In many cases, these Gazans enter Israeli territory with knives and explosives in order to make it more likely that they will be imprisoned for longer than if they had come unarmed.

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