Bombs blow up on Gaza border, prompting IDF response
No one injured and no damage caused after 2 explosive devices, seemingly aimed at an Israeli military patrol, detonate on northern Gaza border fence; IDF attacks Hamas outposts in strip, looks into whether an anti-tank missile was also fired on troops; incident second to have taken place within one month.
No one was hurt in the incident, which took place on the northern border of the coastal enclave. A military official later said that the army was looking into whether an anti-tank missile was fired at Israeli soldiers.
In response, the IDF fired from the air and from a tank at targets belonging to the Hamas terror group, which controls the Gaza Strip. Islamic Jihad targets were also struck.
According to Palestinian sources, another two observation posts and a position in northern Gaza were attacked but it was not immediately clear whether any Palestinians were wounded.
While it was originally reported that three or four devices were said to have exploded during an IDF patrol in the area, a military official later clarified that two bombs had been detonated within quick succession.
The force, however, was a significant distance away from the point of explosion. No damage, therefore, was caused to the military vehicles carrying the patrol.
“Two bombs were detonated within a minute of one another at a distance of 100 meters from the forces. Following an identification of an observation post, we are looking into whether a anti-tank rocket was also fired at the soldiers,” an IDF official said.
“In response, we attacked five targets in Gaza. We don’t know who is responsible for the attack. We will act sharply against attempts to turn the protesters into a cover for terror activities.”
The explosions took place close to an area in which hundreds of Gazans have staged numerous end-of-week protests between the strip’s Shuja'iyya neighborhood and Kibbutz Nahal Oz.
The IDF launched an investigation into whether the bombs were once again planted by the demonstrators.
It is the second time that explosives have been used to harm Israelis on the border in one month.
In February, two soldiers were seriously wounded and two others moderately and lightly wounded when an explosive device was set off near an IDF patrol around the border fence in the southern Gaza Strip, opposite the Ein HaShlosha kibbutz.