Two IDF soldiers were killed after terrorists tried to infiltrate Israel Saturday morning, two also sustained moderate wounds in the incident. The two fallen soldiers were named as Sgt. Adar Barsano, 20, and Maj. Amotz Greenberg, 45, an IDF officer, it was cleared for publication Saturday evening.
IDF soldiers also killed one of at least nine terrorists who tried to infiltrate southern Israel on Saturday morning, in the Eshkol region, some 15 kilometers from the southern Gaza border.
According to the IDF, in the early morning hours an attempted infiltration attempted was thwarted. "A number of terrorists entered Israel through a terror tunnel and opened fire on IDF forces who were patrolling the area," the IDF said, adding the forces returned fire and managed to "repel" the terrorists.
An initial investigation revealed that no less than nine terrorists, armed with guns and anti-tank missiles attempted to enter Israel, apparently in a bid to penetrate into a southern community and undertake a massive terror attack which could have seen numerous Israelis killed.
Israeli security forces told residents of the area to remain in their homes during the incident.
The order was lifted in the early afternoon, but residents were reminded tro remain 15 seconds away from a shelter at all times.
A number of terrorists infiltrated through a terror tunnel and opened fire with both machine guns and anti-tank missiles at an IDF force patrolling area. The troops returned fire and pushed the terrorists back into the Gaza Strip. IAF aircrafts also stuck several terrorists during the invidents.
Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich said earlier Saturday morning during a visit to Ashdod that there was a "skirmish with terrorists on the border fence".
Hamas also said Saturday morning that its men were "behind enemy lines" and exchanging fire with IDF troops near the Gaza border fence in the center of the Gaza Strip. Israeli soldiers had been wounded in the skirmish, the group said. The Popular Resistance Committees also said that they ambushed the IDF in northern Gaza, and reported an exchange of fire.
Lebanese TV network Al Mayadeen reported that Israeli attack helicopters were circling from over Ashkelon to the sky over the northern Gaza Strip, due to concern of terrorist infiltration from the sea.
There was a security alert in the Eshkol Regional Council area on Saturday morning, and parts of Highway 4 in southern Israel were closed due to security activity in the area. Residents were instructed to remain in their homes.
A report in the Lebanese press said there was high alert between Ashkelon and the northern Gaza border due to fears of terrorist infiltration by sea.