Four Gazans carrying knives, grenade arrested crossing border
Four Palestinians are caught by IDF forces trying to infiltrate through the Gaza border into Israel, found carrying knives, grenade; security establishment is looking into whether they were planning a terror attack or purposefully tried to get arrested to avoid Gaza's deteriorating economic situation.
Four Palestinians were apprehended early Thursday evening as they attempted to cross the border from the Gaza Strip into Israel. An IDF spokesperson said one of the infiltrators was carrying two knives and a hand grenade.
According to reports the suspects were observed by IDF spotters as they approached the border fence and were apprehended immediately after crossing over into Israel. The suspects were taken for questioning and the IDF is looking into whether they planned to carry out a terrorist attack.
The army is also looking into whether the two crossed into Israel in order to be purposefully arrested, in light of the difficult conditions in the Gaza Strip, as has already happened hundreds of times since Operation Protective Edge.
Last November, an IDF force opened fire on two Palestinian suspects who illegally crossed the border from the northern part of the Gaza Strip into Israel.
One of them was moderately wounded and taken to the hospital to receive medical treatment. The second was taken for questioning.
During their arrest, the force searched them for concealed weapons and found a knife on one of them.
The two were identified by the Gaza Division's observation posts and caught during the crossing of the fence.
A month later, a popular news site in Gaza published a video clip showing a group of Palestinians ripping open and surmounting a barbed wire gate at the southern tip of the Israeli border fence, with no IDF soldiers to be seen in the vicinity.
In the short clip filmed in the Khan Yunis area, near a point where Palestinians have clashed with Israeli security forces in recent days, the youths are filmed in the “perimeter area” or buffer zone where Israeli soldiers patrol in order to prevent infiltrations from the Gaza Strip to Israel.
The exultant youths can be seen celebrating their success in hopping over the fence unhindered as they throw a burning tire over into the Israeli side and scream "Allahu akbar."
Fleeing duressPresident Reuven Rivlin warned in January of an impending deterioration in the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, attributing the prevention of an improvement in the coastal enclave to the ruling Hamas terror group.
“The time is coming near, when the infrastructure in Gaza will collapse, leaving many civilians in distress, with no sanitary conditions, exposed to pollution, impure water, and epidemics,” Rivlin warned during a visit to the Gaza border area.
“The entire world must know and understand that the ones who are preventing rehabilitation are the Hamas.”
The Hamas terror group began ratcheting up pressure on the Palestinian Authority and the international community Monday to resolve the deepening humanitarian crisis taking shape in Gaza, after the former ordered the Health Ministry to halt activities in a hospital located in the north of the strip and to transfer all patients to other hospitals in the area.
With the closure of the hospital in Beit Hanoun, Hamas officials say that the strike will deprive some 60,000 patients in the northern sector of the strip without medical care.
The decision was taken after Hamas announced that diesel fuel in the hospital for operating its generators had run out.
A day later, the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees announced that Russia, Kuwait and nine European countries have agreed to speed up their contributions to help fill a shortfall left by the Trump administration's decision to greatly reduce crucial US funding.
Yoav Zitun, Elior Levy, Matan Tzuri, Itamar Eichner, TPS, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this article.