Palestinians open fire at IDF vehicle near Gaza
None injured in second such incident this week; earlier, dozens break through border fence between Israel and Strip
Palestinians opened fire Tuesday at the vehicle of a senior IDF officer which was patrolling near the border fence in the central Gaza Strip.
No injuries were reported but the car was damaged, according to Channel 2. Earlier this week, another Israeli car was targeted in a similar shooting attack.
Also Tuesday, dozens of Palestinians broke through the border fence separating Israel and Gaza during a violent demonstration in the southern Strip, the IDF said.
Troops on the scene used nonlethal riot control measures to force the Gaza residents back, an IDF spokeswoman stated. Measures included tear gas, rubber bullets and other means besides live rounds.
Israel closed the Erez border crossing into the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday after some 200 Gazans rioted nearby, the army’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said. At least seven Palestinians were injured when the protesters approached the border fence, drawing tear gas and rubber bullet fire from IDF troops patrolling the fence.
On Monday, rioters cut the border fence and briefly entered Israel before IDF troops repulsed them, mimicking a similar incident on Friday, when dozens of Gazans managed to make it into Israel. Six people were killed and dozens more injured in the clash with troops on Friday.
Gaza’s Hamas rulers praised multiple attacks inside Israel on Tuesday that killed three Israelis and wounded at least two dozen. Israel last week arrested a five-member Hamas cell it says carried out a shooting attack in the West Bank that killed Eitam and Naama Henkin.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group “praises these heroic operations in Jerusalem and greets the heroes who carried them out.”
The two Jerusalem attacks, plus another two stabbing attacks in the central Israeli city of Ra’anana that injured five, mark the most serious series of incidents in a month-long wave of violence.
Last Friday, Gaza-based cleric Muhammad Sallah gave a sermon at Rafah’s Al-Abrar Mosque, urging Palestinians to continue to stab Jews.
Brandishing a knife of his own during the speech, Sallah called on Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank to “attack in threes and fours” and “cut them into body parts.”
Another Hamas spokesman in Gaza called on Friday for all Palestinian factions to join the “Jerusalem intifada.”
In a speech broadcast on the Qatar-based al-Jazeera network and picked up by MEMRI, Mushir Al-Masri is also seen shouting: “This is our choice, the knife is our choice!”
The “blessed knife,” he continues, “symbolizes the battle of the West Bank and Jerusalem.”