An IDF soldier was moderately wounded during an exchange of fire near the security fence in the central Gaza Strip.

 Escalation in attacks from Gaza

 

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar burns Israeli flags in Gaza city in preparation for the movement's 23rd anniversary next week (Photo: Reuters)

On Saturday evening, December 11, soldiers manning an IDF observation post spotted two suspicious figures approaching the security fence in the central Gaza Strip. Two armed Palestinians attempting to infiltrate Israel through the border fence just north of the Kissufim crossing. IDF tanks opened fire and killed the terrorists. Later, as soldiers were preparing to comb the area inside Palestinian territory, terrorists fired a number of rounds at them, apparently with assault rifles. One soldier was moderately wounded in the incident.

Earlier Saturday, a Kassam rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip towards the western Negev. There were no reports of injury or damage. On Wednesday evening (Dec. 8), a man was moderately wounded by a mortar shell fired from the Gaza Strip which exploded in the western Negev.

The Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, spoke to soldiers on Wednesday (Dec. 8): "The current state of the Gaza Strip border is delicate. We are seeing acute deterioration in security and many explosive devices have been discovered at the border."

Approximately 100 terror-related incidents took place near the security fence surrounding the Gaza Strip since the beginning of 2010, an average of one incident every three days.

Two Palestinians were killed a week earlier (Dec. 2) after an IDF force spotted several gunmen near the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip. The gunmen were spotted approaching the border fence near Kibbutz Kfar Aza at around 5 am. The gunmen were shot before opening fire several hundred of meters from the fence. Army officials estimate the two were planning to take advantage of the morning twilight in order to infiltrate Israel and carry out an attack. Weapons found on the gunmen’s bodies were being examined by the IDF.

On November 29, an advanced anti-tank missile was fired several days ago at an IDF armored vehicle along the Gaza border, causing extensive damage. 

The number of rockets and mortar shells fired at Israel has also risen in recent weeks.

The latest escalation in the area took place several weeks ago, when seven mortar shells were fired at Israel, four of them containing phosphorus. A Grad rocket hit an open area near the southern town of Ofakim (Nov. 19), for the first time since the end of Operation Cast Lead, killing several cows and causing property damage.