A terrorist armed with a hand grenade was arrested on Sunday after infiltrating into Israel from Gaza Strip.
He was caught in an area between the communities of Yated and Sdei Abraham in the north-western Negev by a local guard. IDF forces that were dispatched to the area arrested him and took him in for questioning. No injuries were reported in the incident.
This was the first time in more than a year that a terrorist from the blockaded Gaza Strip penetrated into Israel, and came as tensions in the area were already high.
In the West Bank, IDF forces were in the midst of conducting Operation Brother's Keeper in a bid to find three missing Israel teens Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel, leading a massive arrest operation which has seen more than 300 Palestinians arrested and at least three killed.
In the Gaza area, IAF forces responded overnight to ongoing rocket fire by attacking terror targets, signaling the end of yet another tit-for-tat fire exchange between Israel and Gaza terrorists organizations.
A preliminary investigation indicated that the terrorist had infiltrated into Israel by crossing the border fence near southern Gaza Strip at approximately 4 am Sunday.
The IDF spokesperson said that circumstances of the incident were still being investigated.
Haim Levin, head of the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, said "this is a very serious event and highlights the need for local security coordinators in the communities themselves, 24-hours a day."
His comments referred to a 2013 Home Front Command decision
to stop funding security coordinators and IDF patrols in some 22 border communities. The IDF said the move has yet to be implemented, and a military source said "it is too soon to connect the decision to the incident."
The last time a similar incident took place was a year and a half ago
when a Palestinian from Gaza managed to infiltrate into Israel and was killed after entering a residence in the very same Sdei Abraham community, lightly wounding one. He was shot and killed by the IDF.
IAF fighter jets attacked three terror activity sites in the southern Gaza Strip and one terror activity site in the central Gaza Strip overnight Saturday, in response to rocket fire into Israel on Saturday night.
Three rockets exploded onto open areas in the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council on Saturday night. No one was hurt and no damage was caused.
The first rocket hit at around 8:40 pm, while the other two fell about three hours later.
A rocket hit a road in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council on Saturday morning. No one was hurt in that incident either, but damage was caused to the road.
Since the beginning of Operation Brother's Keeper in the West Bank to find the three abducted Israeli teens, over 20 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel.
Cities and towns in southern Israel prepared for such a contingency following the kidnapping.
Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni said during the week that "for now, we're giving the IDF all the time it needs to strike them (Hamas) and bring the boys back home safe and sound."
Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi added that the residents of his city "have a lot of experience (with rocket fire) and remain strong facing challenges. They're willing to to pay the price of escalation."