The incident took place early Thursday, when an Israeli fighter jet fired at an armed terrorist near the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.
Four hours after the IDF announced it had targeted the terrorist, Palestinian rescue services said that a body had been removed from the scene of the attack east of the Zeitoun neighborhood.
According to suspicion, the terrorist intended to carry out a shooting attack against IDF soldiers, but after his body was examined by Palestinian authorities, he was found to have been armed with frag grenades and an explosive vest, in addition to an AK-47 rifle.
The army considered the incident another attempt in a series of many similar attempts taking place over the last two weeks to carry out terrorist attacks along the strip's border under cover of mass protests—also expected to be held Friday.
IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis cautioned Thursday afternoon that the terror group ruling the isolated enclave was "playing with fire and will face the consequences of these incidents, which unmask its true intentions: to carry out terror attacks."
"We have no interest in disrupting protests held deep within the strip," the army's spokesman added.
IDF gearing up for renewal of protestsAlso in anticipation of Friday's events, status evaluations and plan of action approvals have taken place among the army's top brass Thursday, spearheaded by Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot.
The army has also equipped itself with special gear, fitted to tackle the many tires expected to be burned by Palestinian protesters as well as any ensuing fires—should they break out.
"Smoke from 10,000 tries will not change the situation and we have prepared especially for that eventuality," Manelis said. "It may be nothing more than a gimmick. Hamas has failed operationally but interprets the international response to its actions as support to continue on its path."
Preparations in Gaza are also well underway for Friday's protests, when clashes around the fence are expected to reach their weekly apex. Despite the fact that sources within the strip said they expected an impressive turnout of protesters, estimates say it will not top last weekend's Land Day protests—when 30,000 people came to protest and 17 were killed, at least 11 of which were deemed terrorists by the army and Shin Bet.
This Friday's protest, dubbed "The Friday of tires," will focus on burning tires along friction points from the north of the strip to its south. Palestinians thus hope to disrupt IDF snipers from being able to target instigators, and are also planning to use mirrors to achieve the same purpose to blind soldiers.