It is estimated that the blast, which left a 4-meter deep hole in the ground, was connected to an attempted terror attack or abduction. An army jeep, which was empty at the time, was damaged.
- Report: Palestinian, 13, killed by IDF fire
Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced that Israel views the attack with great severity and added that Israel sees Hamas as solely responsible. Israel is contemplating when and how to react, he noted.
The explosion occurred while IDF forces were doing maintenance work on the fence. Gaza Division Commander Brigadier-General Mickey Edelstein arrived at the scene.
The IDF is investigating the incident and will hold a special situation assessment on Friday.
Ynet's defense analyst Ron Ben-Yishai says that the blast is likely Hamas' response to IDF activity west of the fence.
The entrance of army forces into the Gaza Strip is perceived as a violation of Palestinian sovereignty and therefore justifies, from Hamas' point of view, the firing of rockets and laying of explosives.
The very existence of the tunnel suggests that Gaza terrorists are planning additional abductions and terror attacks on a large scale. It is likely they will wait for the IDF's response before firing another round of rockets, but this is also unlikely.
IDF forces on the border fence have been targeted several times in the past week.
Earlier on Thursday, Palestinian officials said that a 13-year-old boy was killed by IDF fire.
According to the sources, Hamid Younis Abu Dika was killed in the Khan Younis area in the southern Gaza Strip. The IDF said there had been no strike in the Strip on Thursday.
However, it is possible that the teen was hit during a fire exchange between IDF forces and Gaza terrorists earlier.
Members of the Popular Resistance Committees said they clashed with four IDF tanks and one bulldozer that entered Gaza territory.
Ron Ben-Yishai contributed to this report
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