This past weekend several incidents along the security fence with the Gaza Strip disturbed the relative stability on the border. These incidents show us that even if the area seems quiet, as long as Hamas continues to govern Gaza, it is just a matter of time until they attempt once again to increase friction in the region.
Last Friday morning, terrorists triggered several incidents at various points along the border with Gaza. In addition, a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip landed in the Shaar HaNegev region.
Update: earlier today a rocket fired from Gaza hit southern Israel
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) December 20, 2013
On Friday morning, a group of approximately 100 Palestinians started a riot in northern Gaza, throwing stones at IDF troops stationed on the border. The incident escalated when a group of protesters tried to break through security fence and enter Israeli territory. The soldiers tried to contain these violent acts by calling on the Palestinians to stop, but to no avail, and in accordance with the incident used live fire. Several hits were identified.
“This course of events is a reminder of the constant challenges IDF forces face in order to keep the border quiet, the security fence intact and safeguard the civilians of the State of Israel,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF spokesperson to foreign media. “The IDF will continue to operate professionally to overcome the threats challenging lives of Israelis and our soldiers in the south of Israel.”
On Saturday morning, another group of terrorists attempted to breach the Gaza security fence. IDF forces caught a terrorist cell red-handed as they were trying to hide an explosive device on the security fence south of the Strip. The goal was to attack the IDF patrols operating in the area. In an attempt to prevent the suspects from fulfilling their mission, the soldiers ordered them to stop, and, as a warning, fired into the air. After the terrorist ignored the warning, IDF forces opened fire towards the legs of one of the suspects.
— Peter Lerner (@LTCPeterLerner) December 21, 2013
“Concealing explosive devices is a recurring phenomenon, challenging the IDF operational activities intended to protect its forces and civilians,” Lerner said. “The IDF will continue to maintain the right to act upon terrorist threats that pose a clear and present danger to the troops and the operational access they require to defend the civilians of the State of Israel.”
The IDF operates and will continue to operate along the border fence to prevent any infiltration into Israel’s sovereign territory. If not for our presence and determination to contain these incidents, the Israeli civilian population would be exposed to innumerable terrorist attacks from Gaza.