Israeli Tanks Shell Hamas Posts After Two Gazans Set Fire to Border Crossing

This is the third incident on the tense Gaza border in less than a week ■ Army bracing for mass protests planned for Friday near border fence

An Israeli tank securing work near the border with Gaza, March 25, 2018.
\ Eliyahu Hershkovitz

The Israeli army struck two Hamas obvervation posts in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, after two Palestinians set fire near the border fence. The suspects did not cross into Israel.

On Tuesday, the Israeli army arrested three Palestinians armed with grenades and knives who infiltrated into Israel through the border from the Gaza Strip. The three were arrested more than 12 miles inside Israeli territory, near the Tze'elim army base in the south.

The incident on Tuesday was the second successful infiltration from Gaza into Israel in less than a week, after four Palestinians illegally crossed the border on Saturday and tried to set fire to military vehicles. The Israeli military attacked a Hamas target in the Gaza in response.

>> Palestinian infiltration from Gaza reveals cracks in Israel's border defenses

Earlier Wednesday, the Israeli army said it will impose a closure on the West Bank and Gaza crossings for the duration of the Passover holiday. The closure will begin Thursday at midnight and be lifted on Saturday, April 7.

The army added that passage will be allowed for humanitarian and medical cases, pending approval by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

Israel is gearing up for mass protests planned for this Friday along the border fence. The Palestinians are planning on establishing six to eight large tent camps, capable of housing thousands of people, mostly women and children, along the border – but some 700 meters from the fence.