At least one Gazan was killed in a firefight with Israeli troops after a group of terrorists attempted to tunnel from the Strip into Kibbutz Nahal Oz Monday afternoon, the army said.
Five terrorists emerged from a tunnel opening just outside the kibbutz with the intention of attacking it, and the Israel Defense Forces opened fire on them.
One was confirmed dead by the military, which said it was carrying out searches for the other members of the group.
Earlier Monday, AFP quoted an Israeli security source as saying all five terrorists had been shot in a gun battle with Israeli troops. But Israeli media reports indicated some others may have escaped back into Gaza.
Confirmed: Terrorists infiltrated Israel via tunnel near Nahal Oz. IDF thwarted attack & killed 1 of the terrorists. Searches continue.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) July 28, 2014
A number of IDF troops were injured in the gunbattle.
During the attack, residents of the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council were instructed by security forces to remain in their homes for fear of infiltration by Gazan terrorists.
Roads in the area were also closed.
Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, claimed a raid “behind enemy lines” in the same area and said it had killed 10 Israeli soldiers, but denied losses on its side.
“The Qassam Brigades executed a heroic operation behind enemy lines east of Shejaiya (near Gaza City) and confirm killing more than 10 soldiers. All the (Qassam) fighters returned to their bases safely,” it said in a statement.
It said it had tried but failed to kidnap an Israeli soldier, and had seized a gun.