Unusual Israeli Airstrike Targets Terror Cell Near Gaza Border

Strike kills one and wounds three, according to Palestinian officials; IDF says it targeted a cell that was planning to attack Israeli troops.

An archive photo showing an Israeli Apache attack helicopter shooting a missile over the Gaza Strip as seen from Israel's border with Gaza, on July 19, 2014.
AFP

The Israel Air Force struck a cell that was planting explosives in the northern Gaza Strip, near the border fence, on Wednesday morning. Officials in Gaza reported that one person was killed and three were wounded in the attack.

Media outlets in Gaza identified the man killed in the strike as Moussa Zeitar, 23.

This is an unusual operation, considering the Israel Defense Forces normally carries out air strikes only in response to rocket fire. Following the attack, the IDF instructed farmers in the area to stay away from the border fence.

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said that the air force, in a joint operation with the Shin Bet, targeted a terror cell that was planting a bomb and was preparing to attack Israeli troops near the border fence.

A spokesman for the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza reported several casualties. According to the spokesman, the strike came from the sea, in the Beit Lahia region. 

Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil said that the attack was "playing with fire" on Israel's part. He said Israel miscalculated by striking Gaza and added the attack was another crime by Israel against the Palestinian people.

In October, a Palestinian was killed and three others were wounded by IDF gunfire in clashes near the border fence. A senior Israeli officer said that the Gazan who was killed was a member of a sniper cell that was attacked by security forces.