Photo: AFP
IDF mortar fire (archives)
Photo: AFP

2 gunmen killed by IDF fire in north Gaza

Army says launched mortars at Palestinians who attempted to plant explosive device along security fence

Two Palestinian men were killed and four others were injured Sunday afternoon from IDF fire near the town of Beit Lahiya in north Gaza, sources in the Strip said.


The Israeli army said a number of men approached the security fence separating Israel and the Hamas-run coastal enclave with the aim of planting an explosive device.


Mortars were launched toward the gunmen after they ignored calls to stop, the IDF said, adding that forces identified a hit.


The two gunmen who were killed were identified as 21-year-old Abd al-Silwai of the Popular Resistance Committees and Mahmoud Nasir, 20, of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.


The army said the two had been active in the planting of bombs along the border and in the firing of mortars and rockets toward Israel, including the August 24 mortar attack in which an IDF soldier was lightly hurt.


Residents of southern Israel were awakened late Saturday night by the Color Red alert, after two rocket launches were identified from the northern Gaza Strip towards Sderot. No injuries or damage were reported.


Ansar al-Suna, an al-Qaeda-linked terror organization, claimed responsibility for the fire and said the rockets possessed a double warhead.


The organization said the fire was retaliation for attacks on female Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons. "A number of (female) inmates have fallen victim to indecent assault by the wardens," it stated, adding that it would continue to attack Israel.


Meanwhile, Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh said Sunday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had no right to negotiate in the name of the Palestinian people and that they would not be obligated by any agreements made at his scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama.


Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 09.20.09, 17:36
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