IDF tank near Kissufim (archives)
Photo: AP

Antitank missiles fired at IDF force for 1st time since truce

Two missiles fired at soldiers operating south of Kissufim crossing, near Kibbutz Nir Oz; no injuries reported. Forces comb area for fear of explosive devices planted in area

Two antitank missiles were fired Friday morning at an IDF force patrolling the area near the border fence in the southern Gaza Strip. There were no reports of injuries.


This is the first incident of its kind since the truce in Gaze went into effect about five months ago.


At around 6:30 am, a paratroopers' force was dispatched to the border fence opposite Kibbutz Nir Oz, for fear that terrorists had planted an explosive device in the area. When the force arrived in the area, two antitank missiles were fired at the soldiers, without causing any injuries or damage.


The troops fired back, and additional forces were dispatched to the area for fear of a combined terror attack. The soldiers later entered the Strip in order to search the area, but failed to locate the terrorists.


The forces were expected to continue the search Friday using heavy machine, in order to rule out any possibility of explosive devices planted in the area.


This is the first unusual incident of its kind since the ceasefire began. So far, explosive devices have been uncovered along the border fence in 15 cases. There were no injuries or damage in all incidents. This is the first time missiles are fired at an IDF patrol force since the truce.


Forces on high alert

IDF officials said this was a severe incident, which is considered a blatant violation of the truce. Sources in the Southern Command said that in spite of the state of calm in the past few months, the forces are on high alert.


"This region has always been sensitive. The ceasefire left the forces on constant alert, as we know an escalation could take place in the area within minutes," one of the sources said.


On Thursday, the crossings were closed following a false report of a rocket attack in the western Negev. Security officials searched for rocket remains the entire day, but to no avail.


Defense officials are looking into different possibilities to explain the mishap. One possibility being examined is a malfunction in the anti-rocket alert system deployed by the IDF.


פרסום ראשון: 10.31.08, 08:08
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