IDF Soldier Wounded by Palestinian Sniper Fire on Gaza Border

Soldier from Givati Brigade in moderate condition; incident occurs after IDF kills two Palestinian infiltrators near Kibbutz Nirim; Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for infiltration attempt.

An Israel Defense Forces soldier was moderately wounded on Friday by Palestinian sniper fire in the northwester Negev near the border with the Gaza Strip.

The soldier, a tracker in the Givati Brigade, was transported to Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva for treatment. He was shot while securing a road near Kibbutz Nirim where there had been an infiltration attempt earlier in the day.

IDF troops killed two Palestinians who had infiltrated from Gaza on Friday, apparently with the intention of carrying out terror attacks in Israel.

The infiltrators successfully crossed the border and advanced several dozen meters into Israeli territory near Kibbutz Nirim before they encountered IDF troops from the Givati Brigade and the armored corps. The troops opened fire and killed the militants.

IDF troops responding to infiltration attempt on Gaza border.
Eli Hershkovitz

Islamic Jihad said that the two militants were from its organization, CNN reported.

Before dawn on Friday, Israel Air Force fighter jets bombed targets across the Gaza Strip in what the IDF said was a response to the launching of a Qassam rocket earlier this week.

The Israeli warplanes, according to the IDF Spokesman's Office, struck two tunnels in Gaza's south, as well one in the north.

Gaza militants fired a Qassam rocket into Israel on Wednesday, causing no casualties or damage. The rocket exploded in an open area in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.

The IDF said that the tunnel struck on Thursday had been dug a kilometer away from Gaza's border with Israel, and intended to be used in an infiltration as well as a possible terror attack against Israeli citizens and soldiers.

A spokesman said that the strike came as "a response to the rocket fire at the Eshkol region on the previous day," adding that the IDF considered "the Hamas terror organization as responsible for the doings in the Gaza Strip."

"The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli citizens and soldiers and will continue to act severely and determinately against any group which attempts to terrorize the State of Israel," the spokesman said.

The last rocket attack occurred 10 days ago, where a Qassam exploded in an open area in the Ashkelon region of the Negev. The Israel Air Force bombed two targets in southern Gaza in retaliation for the rocket attack.

Last month, two Katyusha rockets were fired at the southern port city of Eilat, one landing in an open area in the Jordanian city of Aqaba, and the second landed in the Eilat port, causing no casualties.