IDF Soldier, Palestinian Militant Killed in Exchange of Fire on Gaza Border

Golani Brigade soldier killed after Gaza border with Israel breached by militant; Palestinians report IAF activity in Gaza.

An Israel Defense Forces soldier and a Palestinian militant were killed in an exchange of fire on the Israel-Gaza border on Friday morning.

The exchange of fire ensued after a militant breached the border fence into Israel in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

At approximately 5.30 A.M., the IDF spotted an armed person breaching the border and soldiers from the Golani Brigade were dispatched to the site. The soldiers opened fire toward the militant.

In a statement, the IDF said that "the killing of the terrorist prevented a terrorist attack in Israeli territory".

"The IDF will act against any entitity that operates against the State of Israel," the statement read. "The army views Hamas as responsible for all that occurs in the Gaza Strip."

The deceased IDF soldier was identified as Netanel Moshiashvili, 21, from Ashkelon. His funeral was held on Friday afternoon in the city's military cemetery.

Following the early morning exchange of fire, there were Palestinian reports of Israel Air Force activity and explosions in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians said that three people were wounded in an IAF strike on a motorcycle in Khan Younis. The Popular Resistance Committees said that the IAF strike targeted members of the group. 

Islamic Jihad initially took responsibility for the border shooting incident but later retracted the claim. According to reports, the militant who carried out the attack was Ahmed Abu-Nasser from Khan Younis.

The IDF said that an IAF aircraft conducted a strike on a terror squad that had carried out high-trajectory fire toward IDF forces.

Friday's shooting incident occurred one week after two IDF soldiers from the Golani brigade were lightly to moderately wounded by gunfire on the border with the Gaza Strip.

In that incident, two soldiers received hand wounds after being struck by gunfire from the Gaza Strip. IDF forces returned fire toward the source of the shooting.

In recent months, there has been an increase in hostile activity along the Israel-Gaza border, including the planting of explosive devices, shootings, and RPG fire.

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