An Israeli civilian was shot and killed by sniper fire in a shooting attack near the Israel-Gaza border fence. PM Netanyahu: "This is a very severe incident and we will not let it go unanswered."
An Israeli civilian – Salah Shukri Abu Latyef, 22, of the Bedouin town of Rahat – was shot and killed by sniper fire on Tuesday (24 December 2013) in southern Israel in a shooting attack near the Israel-Gaza border fence.
The attack occurred as the man was repairing a part of the security fence damaged by the winter storm last week. He was flown by helicopter to Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba but died of his wounds en route.
This was the first Israeli civilian killed in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip since Operation Pillar of Defense last year.
Prime Minister Netanyahu: "This is a very severe incident and we will not let it go unanswered. Our policy until now has been to act beforehand and to respond in force and this is how we will act regarding this incident as well."
President Peres: "If Gaza wants quiet then they should act accordingly and if not then it will bear the results. Gaza is not under any occupation. If they think the world will continue to support them while they create more victims then they are wrong. We will guarantee our security."
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon: "We take a most severe view of the terrorist attacks in Israel over the past two days and the cross-border shooting attack from Gaza. In Gaza, Hamas is sovereign, and we see it as being responsible for today’s shooting from the Strip and rocket launches over the past two days at Israel. We will not let life in the south be disrupted, and we will respond aggressively and painfully to any attack on our authority and against our civilians and soldiers. I suggest Hamas not test our patience and use its authority in the territory. If there is no quiet in Israel, there will be no quiet in Gaza."
Ya’alon added that the terrorist attacks in the West Bank are largely the initiative of individual attackers who were “influenced by the atmosphere of incitement and hatred against Israel that dominates the Palestinian Authority. This is an intolerable situation for us.”
There have been several attempts to place explosives on the border fence in the past several days. On Monday (December 23) a rocket fired from Gaza landed near a children’s bus stop in the Ashkelon area.
The IDF said it would not change plans to ease restrictions on Palestinian Christians in the West Bank and Gaza for the Christmas holiday.