Two Gazans Detained After Breaching Israel Border Fence, Hurling Faulty Grenade

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An IDF tank guards during maintenance work on the Gaza border fence, September 1, 2020.
An IDF tank guards during maintenance work on the Gaza border fence, September 1, 2020.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Two Palestinians were detained Thursday morning near the Gaza border after breaching the fence and entering Israeli territory north of the Strip, the Israeli military said.

According to the IDF statement, the two Palestinians threw a grenade, which failed to explode. They were also found to be carrying a knife, cutters, and a second faulty grenade. The IDF reported no casualties, and Israeli residents of the area were told not to exit their homes until the arrest was over.

Tensions between Gaza and Israel have increased against the backdrop of normalization deals formalized between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. On the night after the signing ceremony between the three states in Washington, D.C. two weeks ago, Gaza factions fired a barrage of rockets toward Israel, eight of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. In response, the IDF struck Hamas facilities used for training and weapons production.

A day earlier, during the signing ceremony, two rockets were launched from Gaza on southern Israeli cities; one of them fell on Ashdod. Two people received treatments for injuries sustained from glass debris in Ashdod. A 62-year-old man was moderately wounded, and a 28-year-old man was lightly injured. Islamic Jihad and Hamas both released statements condemning the agreements following the rocket attacks.  

In January, three Palestinians crossed the Gaza border near the center of the Strip, getting 400 meters (about 1,300 feet) into Israel. They breached the fence near Kibbutz Kissufim, likely aided by the stormy weather that day. The IDF said that the three threw a bomb or grenade at troops, who were not injured, before soldiers fired on the three, killing them.       

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