IDF patrol takes fire from Gaza

No injuries or damage reported in latest cross-border incident; soldiers search area for possible perpetrators

Illustrative photo of IDF patrol vehicles (Gili Yaari/Flash90/File)
Illustrative photo of IDF patrol vehicles (Gili Yaari/Flash90/File)

An IDF patrol operating along the Gaza border came under fire from an unidentified source in the Hamas-controlled territory Tuesday night. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

According to Channel 10, shots were fired at the soldiers patrolling the border near Kissufim, in the Eshkol region of southern Israel. The incident was under investigation and soldiers were scouring the area for possible perpetrators.

Tuesday night’s incident came amid a week of renewed violence along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. A rocket launched from Gaza exploded Monday evening in the western Negev, causing no injuries or damage.

The missile was fired as Israel prepared to release 26 Palestinian prisoners, 23 of whom were convicted of murdering Israeli civilians or soldiers, or Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel.

Last week, the Israeli Air Force struck targets in Gaza after several rockets hit Israeli territory, landing in open areas.

On Thursday, it was revealed that security forces had earlier in December arrested a Gaza man, in Israel on a permit to seek medical help, on suspicion that he planned to carry out a terror attack upon his return to the Strip.

The IDF deployed three Iron Dome rocket-interception batteries to the area near the southern cities of Beersheba, Sderot and Ashdod over Wednesday and Thursday.

Last Tuesday, a Defense Ministry civilian worker was killed by sniper fire from the Gaza Strip, prompting retaliatory attacks by the IAF that killed a Palestinian toddler and her father.

In a string of attacks and attempted attacks last Monday, a rocket fired from Gaza landed next to a children’s bus stop in the Ashkelon area, a bus bombing was narrowly averted in Bat Yam, and a police officer was stabbed and seriously wounded in the West Bank.

In the wake of last week’s violence, the IDF briefly closed the Kerem Shalom border crossing with the Gaza Strip to all commercial traffic.

Following last week’s escalation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel considers Hamas responsible for the recent attacks emanating from Gaza and will make the terror group face the consequences.

Also Monday, the IDF began installing air-raid sirens and fortified safe zones in all its bases on the Golan Heights, bracing for an increased threat of rocket attacks along the border with Syria.

The move came a day after two Katyusha rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel. Nobody was hurt in the attacks.

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