Palestinians cross Gaza fence, set fire to empty IDF post
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Palestinians cross Gaza fence, set fire to empty IDF post

In response to cross-border incident, Israeli tank targets Hamas position in central Strip

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 group of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip breached the security fence on Tuesday morning and set fire to an empty IDF position on the other side, the army said.

In response, an Israeli tank fired on a nearby Hamas observation post, the military said.

The suspects got through the fence east of the Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. The target of their arson attack was a tent that had been used by Israeli snipers during recent riots along the border.

The army said it had been monitoring “the event since it began.”

The suspects fled back into the Gaza Strip after setting fire to the position.

No injuries were reported.

With few exceptions, Israel holds the Hamas terrorist group, which rules Gaza, responsible for all violence that emanates from the coastal enclave, regardless of who carries it out.

Tensions along the Gaza border have been high since March 30, which marked the start of a series of violent protests along the security fence, known collectively as the “March of Return.”

They reached their peak last Monday, when over 40,000 Palestinians took part in an “unprecedentedly” violent riot along the border, according to the army.

Thousands of demonstrators burned tires, threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli troops across the fence and, in a few cases, engaged in armed battles with the IDF.

According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, at least 62 people were killed on Monday and hundreds were wounded by live fire. Hamas later acknowledged 50 of the dead were its members.

Though the past weekend was the quietest since the weekly riots began eight weeks ago, the military remained on high alert in the area out of concern the situation

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