The Israel Defense Forces thwarted a mass infiltration attempt on Thursday, opening fire on 13 Palestinian militants who managed to enter Israel through a tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip early Thursday morning.
When the militants exited the tunnel onto Israeli territory, Israel Air Force crafts were clearly visible above them, and they rushed to turn back to Gaza. The IAF bombed the opening of the tunnel, on Israeli territory on the eastern side of the fence.
The Shin Bet said it warned the army of intelligence indicating a potential infiltration attempt, and that soldiers were thus prepared and on high alert, with increased troops in the area.
According to the IDF Spokesperson, militants were seen entering the tunnel around 4:30 A.M. "If the terror attack had been actualized, it would have been very significant," the IDF Spokesperson said.
"Think, 13 terrorists inside of a kibbutz. We would have woken up this morning to a killing spree, including the possibility of abductions. That clearly would have been the result."
Residents of Sufa, Hulit and Kerem Shalom, all on the Gaza border, were told to resume their daily routines after being initially instructed to remain indoors as IDF forces combed the area following the infiltration attempt.
This was the second time Israeli aircraft have operated in Israeli territory to prevent infiltration: In August 2012, an Israeli craft opened fire on an armored car infiltrating from Egypt. Eight militants were killed in that incident, and a Thai worker was lightly wounded.
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