Gun battle at Erez crossing; 2 terrorists killed
(VIDEO) Two Palestinian terrorists arrive at Erez crossing north Gaza under cover of the night early Thursday, proceed to open fire, hurl grenades toward Israeli side of border. Givati Brigade soldiers manning crossing kill terrorists in ensuing gun battle; no soldiers hurt
(VIDEO) Two Palestinian terrorists arrived at the Erez crossing in north Gaza under cover of the night early Thursday and proceeded to open fire and hurl grenades toward the Israeli side of the border. Givati Brigade soldiers manning the crossing killed the terrorists in the ensuing gun battle.
No soldiers were hurt in the incident.
The terrorists, Marwan Amar and Muhammad Ramadan, were both carrying Kalashnikov rifles, and one of them was armed with an explosives belt.
The IDF has transferred their bodies to the Palestinians.
“We fired for half an hour until we realized the terrorists were killed,” Major Golan Wach told Ynet.
“The terrorists carried out the attack with complete disregard for the many Palestinians who were present at the site,” he said, adding that Palestinian police officers manning a station nearby “did nothing to stop them.”
Lieutenant Colonel (res.) Shlomo Saban, in charge of the Erez crossing on behalf of the security establishment, told Ynet, “until 4 a.m. we let in half the number of Palestinian that enter Israel each morning, numbering some 2,400, then the flow of workers stopped. This seemed odd to us, and we received vague answers from them.
“At precisely 4:32 a.m. the terrorists were identified. Our security guards proceeded to fire at them until the IDF forces joined in,” Saban said, adding that a female security guard was the first to identify the terrorists and directed the forces in their direction.
The terror attack attempt took place as thousands of Palestinian workers were waiting at the crossing, and it is estimated that the terrorists took advantage of this to approach Israeli territory.
IDF soldiers responsible for peripheral security
All civilians, including the Palestinians waiting to cross into Israel and employees of the Israeli company operating the crossing, were evacuated from the area once the gun battle erupted.
The attack was carried out by Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Salah al-Din Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committee’s armed wing, as a response to the recent series of targeted killings by the IDF in Gaza.
Sources within the terror groups said that shells were fired at IDF forces during the attack.
Security establishment officials raised questions regarding the conduct of the Palestinian police, as the terrorists were able to penetrate the Palestinian circle of security en route to the crossing.
Tensions were high in Gaza in recent days due to the continuous IDF operations against Qassam rocket launchers. On Wednesday a terror attack was thwarted when an IDF tank hit a group of Palestinian terrorists south of the Karni crossing.
The Erez crossing, used mainly for the passage of Palestinian workers, merchants and VIPs into Israel, has seen numerous terror attacks in the past. Just recently the security establishment granted working permits to several thousand Palestinians, this after they were denied entry due to the Netanya terror attack.
Two weeks ago the operation of the Erez crossing was transferred to a civilian company, under Defense Ministry supervision, with IDF soldiers responsible for peripheral security.
The Karni crossing, also in north Gaza, was recently shut down for three weeks due to warnings of a possible terror attack on the site with the use of an underground tunnel.
Ali Waked contributed to the report