Merkava 4 tank (archives)
Photo: Shalom Bar-Tal

Gaza: IDF tank-shield intercepts missile

'Windbreaker' defense system intercepts missile fire on Merkava 4 tank; IDF responds with artillery fire; Palestinian injured. Hamas: Reaction will be severe if attacks on Gaza continue

Exchanges of fire between IDF soldiers and Palestinians were reported at around noon Sunday near the Al-Bureij refugee camp in Gaza.


During the fighting, Palestinians fired an anti-tank missile at a Merkava 4 tank, which is equipped with the "Windbreaker" defense system. The system intercepted the missile, and IDF forces responded with artillery fire.


The "Windbreaker" shield is marketed abroad under the name "Trophy".


According to the Palestinians, one person was injured from the artillery fire.


Earlier, Palestinian media outlets reported of "irregular" movement of IDF armored vehicles near the security fence in south Gaza. According to reports, the vehicles were accompanied by helicopters.


The current round of violence on Israel's southern front has escalated over the past few days. On Saturday night IDF forces patrolling the northern Gaza Strip fence spotted and killed two terrorists approaching the security barrier near an Israeli kibbutz.


Armored Corps soldiers opened fire and killed the two men. No injuries were reported among IDF troops. According to initial estimates, the two were planning to plant an explosive device near the fence.


Sources in Gaza also reported of Israeli tank fire in central Gaza. They said Israeli tanks also opened fire in the direction of agricultural fields located east of Gaza City, near the border with Israel.


Forty-nine mortar shells were fired into Israel from Gaza on Saturday, prompting the IDF to strike several targets across the Strip. Two Israelis sustained light injuries from the mortar fire.


A spokesman for Hamas' armed wing – the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades - stated on Sunday that the numerous rockets fired towards Israel in recent days are a message to Israel to stop bombing the Gaza Strip. "The resistance will not sit idle and watch the crimes of the occupation, especially in light of the recent bombings," Abu Obeida said, and cautioned that if the IDF does not stop attacking the Strip, the reaction will be severe.


In an interview with the Al-Resalah website, which is associated with Hamas, Abu Obeida also addressed the IDF's recent interception of the "Victoria" arms ship. He claimed that Israel is taking advantage of the calm to incite against Hamas by accusing the organization of smuggling ammunition into the Gaza Strip using ships.


Elior Levy contributed to the report



פרסום ראשון: 03.20.11, 12:32
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