“This is Hamas’ answer, in record time – as soon as the coalition government was established – to all those who think there can be dialogue with (Hamas),” diplomatic officials said Monday afternoon after Hamas took responsibility for the terror attack.
Sources in the defense establishment said Tuesday morning that they viewed Monday's shooting incident as extremely severe.
A security source said that "patience has run out, and from now on the IDF will respond harshly to any terror incident coming from the Gaza Strip."
On Sunday the Israeli government decided not to hold contacts with the new Palestinian unity leadership, and today’s incident appears to have strengthened this stance.
“This is an atrocious act which indicates the true intentions under the mask Hamas has donned lately to win international recognition and legitimization. This is also the answer to all those who say we should try to talk with Hamas regardless of their failure to accept the international community’s preconditions,” the officials declared.
The Israeli man sustained moderate wounds Monday morning by a Palestinian sniper near Kibbutz Nahal Oz, north of the Gaza Strip.
'Saved by a miracle'
The victim, Koby Ohayon, 42, was an employee of the Electrical Company who was conducting infrastructure work at a gas terminal near the kibbutz upon the IDF’s request.
Recovering in Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva, Ohayon described the incident: “We were carrying out maintenance work for the IDF, and in the middle I heard shots and I felt like a hammer was falling on me.”
A bullet entered his groin area and exited by his hip. “I am going to pray the deliverance blessing – I was saved by a miracle,” Ohayon said, adding that the incident strengthened his Right-wing views.
A few hours after the shooting incident, Hamas was linked to another terror attempt when Egyptian security forces captured a would-be bomber at the border awaiting directions to carry out a suicide bombing in Israeli territory.
The suspect was interrogated by Egyptian police and admitted to being a Hamas member. His cell members were supposed to deliver him an explosives belt and exact directions for the attack, he said.
The attacks come just two days after Hamas and Fatah established a unity government in the Palestinian Authority.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that he viewed resistance to the Israeli occupation as legitimate.
“Today we start a new stage in our national struggle towards establishing an independent Palestinian state. This is the struggle started by the shahid (martyr) Yasser Arafat, and which we are coronating today on the day of our national unity,” Abbas said.
Hanan Greenberg and Anat Breshkovsky contributed to the report