IDF shoots three Gazans sneaking into Israel with knives
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IDF shoots three Gazans sneaking into Israel with knives

Palestinians taken to an Israeli hospital after breaching security fence from enclave, army says

Illustrative: Israeli soldiers gather at a position on the border with the Gaza Strip near Kibbutz Nahal Oz in southern Israel on March 30, 2019. (Jack Guez/AFP)
Illustrative: Israeli soldiers gather at a position on the border with the Gaza Strip near Kibbutz Nahal Oz in southern Israel on March 30, 2019. (Jack Guez/AFP)

Israeli forces opened fire and wounded three Palestinians who entered Israel from the Gaza Strip and were carrying knives, the army said Wednesday.

“(Israeli) troops spotted three suspects crossing the security fence and infiltrating into Israel from the southern Gaza Strip,” it said.

“In response, the troops fired at the suspects. Knives were found in their possession.”

The three were transferred to an Israeli hospital, a spokesperson told AFP.

The incident came amid days of relative quiet on the Gaza-Israel border, as  regional states worked to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas after a flareup in violence last week.

Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar have recently worked to broker ceasefire understandings between Israel and Hamas, which, if finalized, would likely see an end to violence emanating from the Strip in exchange for the Jewish state easing some of its restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of the coastal enclave.

Israeli officials have long held that the Jewish state’s limitations on movement aim to prevent Hamas and other terror groups from transferring weapons into Gaza.

There appeared to be a breakthrough in the ceasefire efforts over the weekend, when Palestinians in Gaza maintained relative calm along the border during large protests on Saturday.

Israel, in turn, reopened its two crossings with Gaza on Sunday, having closed them last week after a rocket attack struck a home in central Israel and injured seven people, and significantly expanded the permitted fishing area on Monday around the coastal enclave.

On Wednesday, Palestinian factions in Gaza reportedly agreed to stop launching balloons with incendiary devices into Israel.

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