IDF: Troops nab 2 Gaza infiltrators armed with grenade and knives

Military says suspects being questioned over breach at southern section of Strip’s border

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Illustrative: View of the barrier along the Israel-Gaza border, on December 8, 2021. (Flash90)
Illustrative: View of the barrier along the Israel-Gaza border, on December 8, 2021. (Flash90)

Two Palestinian men, one armed with a grenade, were detained by Israel Defense Force soldiers after infiltrating into southern Israel overnight from the Gaza Strip, the military said Sunday morning.

The IDF said the pair were also armed with two knives.

The military did not clarify whether the suspects had successfully passed through the fence, in the southern part of the coastal enclave, when they were captured.

The suspects were being questioned, the IDF said.

While Israel has a series of high-tech fences and walls guarding its frontier with Gaza, both above- and belowground, a number of gaps remain in the steel fencing surrounding the territory.

In times of low visibility, these gaps have been used by Palestinians to illegally enter Israeli territory, often with hopes of fleeing the impoverished enclave.

While attacks on Israeli civilians by those infiltrating from Gaza are rare, a Palestinian man crossed into Israel last May armed with several knives and attacked a security guard some five kilometers from the border fence, lightly hurting him. The suspect, who was shot and wounded by another guard, has been indicted.

Though Palestinians regularly attempt to cross into Israel from Gaza, it is highly uncommon for them to make it far into Israeli territory without being seen and detained by Israeli troops.

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