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Israeli troops nab 2 Gaza infiltrators, one armed with a grenade

Military says suspects have been taken for questioning over incident at southern section of Strip’s border

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

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

Two Palestinians, 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 Wednesday morning.

The suspects were taken for further questioning, the military said.

According to the IDF, the two attempted to cross into Israel from the Gaza Strip through the southern section of the border fence.

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

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

In December, another pair of Palestinians — armed with three grenades and two knives — were arrested after crossing into Israel through the northern section of the fence, the IDF said at the time.

While attacks on Israeli civilians by those infiltrating from Gaza are rare, last May, a Palestinian man, who crossed into Israel armed with several knives, attacked and lightly wounded a security guard some five kilometers from the border fence.

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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