IDF officials estimated that three to five gunmen infiltrated the terminal from Gaza in an attempt to kidnap soldiers. Nahal Oz is the only kibbutz in the area with secure rooms, and the residents were told to remain hidden inside of these rooms.
"It was like a war – mortar fire from every which way, and nobody knew what was happening. I ran to my son's house because my granddaughter was home alone. The beeper network announced an infiltration attempt, and asked us to remain indoors. It was very scary," Hartov added.
Nahal Oz resident Larry Trento said, "Many mortar shells fell in the area, around five within the kibbutz, but no injuries or damage were reported. Nothing like this has ever happened here – such a huge amount of shells falling at once. The army closed all of the entrances to the kibbutz until the high level of alert is lifted. We are located 700 meters from the fence, so whenever an infiltration attempt is announced we announce alertness procedures."
Palestinian sources reported that most of the gunmen who performed the attack returned to Gaza unharmed.
Head of Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council, Alon Schuster said, "The council has no resources to deal with such an attack; it calls for military procedures. We suspected a kidnapping which, to our relief, did not occur. We are very close to the border with Gaza, and therefore constantly wary of such attacks."
Shmulik Hadad contributed to the report.