Video shows Gazans cross fence, destroy IDF post unhindered

Video shows Gazans cross fence, destroy IDF post unhindered

In footage filmed by one of the suspects Tuesday, the men can be seen setting fire to a sniper position, cutting cables

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Al-Jazeera on Tuesday night aired footage showing a group of Palestinians who earlier in the day broke through the Gaza security fence and set fire to an empty IDF position on the other side.

The footage was filmed by one of the suspects, apparently with a camera mounted on his chest.

In it, approximately 10 men can be seen getting past the security fence east of the Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. Their faces are blurred in the video.

The target of their arson attack was a tent that had been used by Israeli snipers during recent riots along the border.

In addition to setting fire to the army post, the videographer also films helping another suspect use bolt cutters to destroy Israeli electrical cables.

Two Palestinian men cut through electrical cables at an Israeli military position near the Gaza security fence, on May 22, 2018. (Screen capture: Al-Jazeera)

One of the Palestinian men also sprayprainted Arabic graffiti on concrete barriers near the security fence.

The army said on Tuesday it had monitored “the event since it began,” but IDF troops were not seen at any point in the nearly minute-long video.

A Palestinian man spraypaints graffiti on concrete barriers inside Israel, near the Gaza security fence, on May 22, 2018. (Screen capture: Al-Jazeera)

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

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

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.

A picture taken on May 14, 2018, from the southern Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz across the border with the Gaza Strip shows Israeli soldiers keeping position and Palestinian protesters gathering along the border fence with Israel. (AFP/JACK GUEZ)

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 60 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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