Golani Staff-Sergeant Netanel Moshiashvili, 21, from Ashkelon, was killed Friday in a clash with a Palestinian terrorist, near Kissufim.
The Islamic Jihad initially said that it was one of its operatives who infiltrated Israel, but later recanted the statement. The terrorist's mission is believed to have been the abduction of an IDF soldier.
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According to available details, the incident took place at around 4 am, when the gunman, using the heavy fog covering the area, was able to reach the security fence, cut it and infiltrate Israel.
A Golani force was scrambled to the area and engaged the terrorist, who opened fire. The terrorist – later identified as Ahmed abu Nasser, from the border village of Abassan – was killed. The gunfight left Moshiashvili, one of the force's medics, mortally wounded. IDF medics attempted to stabilize his condition, but he succumbed to his wounds.
Scene of the incident (Photo: Roee Idan)
Several hours later, a mortar shell fired from northern Gaza exploded in an open area in southern Israel. No injuries or damages were reported.
Colonel Tal Hermoni, commander of the Gaza Division South Brigade, said that the troops "Acted decisively, despite being under fire. We are fighting a constant battle against terror groups… The soldiers prevented a terror attack on one of the communities."
And IDF Spokesperson’s Unit statement said that the force was able to thwart a terror attack. "The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians or IDF soldiers and will continue to fight any element which employs terror against the State of Israel.
"The Hamas terror group is responsible for any such acts," the statement said.
At around 5:50 am, the residents of Kibbutz Nirim, which is adjacent to Kissufim, were informed of a terrorist infiltration in the area and instructed to remain indoors. The order was lifted within an hour.
Palestinian sources said that IAF helicopters struck several targets east of Khan Younis, adding that two people were seriously injured.
Staff-Sergeant Moshiashvili was laid to rest at the Ashkelon Military Cemetery at noon, Friday.
Elior Levy and Reuters contributed to this report
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