Photo: EPA
Archive photo: IAF bombs Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge
Photo: EPA

IAF attacks terror cell in the northern Gaza Strip

Terrorists were planting explosives on border fence; Palestinians report one dead, three wounded in strike; Fatah's armed wing says killed from its ranks.

The Israel Air Force attacked a terror cell in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, in a joint operation with the Shin Bet.



Members of the terror cell were planting explosives on the border fence, which they were planning on setting off near an IDF patrol.


The Palestinians reported one killed, 31-year-old Musa Za'aytar, and three others wounded in the attack, their condition currently unknown. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a militant group affiliated with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah group, later identified the deceased as a member, saying he was targeted while planting explosives.


IDF troops on the Gaza border (Photo: Roee Idan)
IDF troops on the Gaza border (Photo: Roee Idan)


In a separate statement, Salah Bardawil, an official from Gaza's ruling Islamic Hamas movement, said Israel was "playing with fire" in the airstrike. He did not elaborate.


"Forces guarding the border with Gaza face a growing threat from hostile terror groups attempting to destabilize the situation on the ground," said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman.


Initially, Israeli farmers were instructed not to come closer than one kilometer rom the border fence in light of the possibility of retaliation from the Strip, but the instruction was later lifted. 


The airstrike marked a rare flare-up along the Gaza border, which has remained largely calm since a devastating 50-day summer war in 2014.


Some clashes have erupted along the border in recent months but most of the confrontations and violence has taken place in Jerusalem and the West Bank.


Last month, Israeli security forces stopped another wide-scale attack against IDF troops operating along the Gaza border. A patrol of IDF engineering forces found that an area along the border fence mined with powerful explosives while examining remains of a roadside bomb that detonated two days earlier. The explosives did not go off, but some were connected to remote-controlled detonators.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 01.13.16, 09:18
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