IDF kills 3 Palestinian gunmen in Gaza
- IDF kills 3 Palestinian gunmen in Gaza
THE JERUSALEM POST Apr. 3, 2008
Less than 24 hours after defense officials warned that terrorists might have
crossed through Rafah, Givati Brigade soldiers killed three armed
Palestinians in Khan Yunis on Thursday.
Troops have been operating in the central Gaza Strip since Wednesday night,
conducting sweeps for weapons.
According to the IDF, the soldiers encountered the gunmen during the
operations and opened fire.
In the West Bank, IDF troops arrested six Palestinian terror suspects in
operations overnight Wednesday. The detainees were transferred for security
Earlier Wednesday, senior defense officials warned that Palestinian
terrorists could have used Egypt's opening of the Rafah crossing on Tuesday
as an opportunity to cross back into Gaza after undergoing terror training
Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah terminal on Egypt-Gaza border for a
single day to, they said, allow some 350 Egyptians stuck in Gaza Strip for
the past two months to return home.
According Egyptian officials, the stranded Egyptians crossed into Gaza when
Hamas blew up parts of the border wall in January, letting hundreds of
thousands of Palestinians cross into Egypt to shop for food and commodities
before the barrier was resealed. In addition to the Egyptians, Palestinian
trucks and vehicles were allowed to return to Gaza, the Egyptian official
Israeli defense officials said that since the border was resealed, Egypt has
allowed a "trickle" of people to cross through Rafah on a weekly basis. They
said it was likely that the trickle included terrorists who were leaving for
training or returning.
"It is likely that there are terrorists who are using the opening as an
opportunity to travel abroad or to return to Gaza," a defense official said.
"They are probably returning not empty-handed, but with money and maybe even
At the same time, defense officials acknowledged a recent increase in
Egyptian efforts to stop the smuggling of weapons into Gaza via tunnels
under the Philadelphi Corridor. In April, new US-made tunnel detection
systems are scheduled to be deployed along the Philadelphi Corridor and to
be used by the Egyptian forces to locate and destroy the tunnels.
On Wednesday, an Egyptian security official claimed that forces had found a
tunnel just a few meters away from the Egypt-Gaza border. The official said
that the tunnel appeared to have been used to smuggle weapons and contraband
between Egypt and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
The IDF has been highly critical of Egypt over the past year due to Israeli
claims that Cairo was not doing enough to stop the smuggling across the
Philadelphi Corridor, along which it had deployed 750 policemen following
Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in the summer of 2005.
According to a senior defense official, Egypt began significantly increasing
its efforts to stop the smuggling from Gaza following the firing of
Grad-model Katyusha rockets into Ashkelon last month.
- Ynetnews / June 16, 2008
IDF kills 3 Palestinian gunmen in Gaza
Givati Brigade soldiers enter Palestinian territory, shoot dead gunmen
approaching security fence; explosives, rifles found on terrorists' bodies
by Hanan Greenberg
Latest Update: 06.16.08, 09:32 / Israel News
Israeli soldiers killed during the early hours of Monday morning three
Palestinian gunmen who were approaching the security fence in the south
An IDF force positioned near the Sufa crossing spotted the gunmen
nearing the security fence separating Israel from Gaza. Soldiers from
the Givati Brigade's Tzabar Battalion who were dispatched to the scene
entered Palestinian territory and shot the Palestinian gunmen dead. Two
explosive devices and rifles were found on the terrorists' bodies.
Palestinian sources reported of heavy exchanges of fire between the
soldiers and the gunmen, apparently from Islamic Jihad's al-Quds
Brigades, and said the gunmen managed to set off an explosive device
near an army jeep. The IDF said the gunmen were looking to plant two
bombs, adding that one of them was detonated as the soldiers stormed the
"The threat of explosive devices targeting army patrols is well known,"
an IDF official said. "The terror organizations are going to great
lengths to plant these bombs, some of which are highly advanced."
A few hours after the incident Israeli aircraft opened fire at two
gunmen near the security fence in south Gaza, near Khan Younis. The IDF
said a hit was identified.
Palestinian sources said three gunmen belonging to Hamas' armed wing,
the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, were inured in the attack.
On Sunday two mortars were fired from Gaza toward Israel. One landed
near the Karni crossing, while the other landed near the security fence.
No injuries were reported in either incident.
The mortar and rocket fire on Israel has subsided in recent days amid
Egyptian efforts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and the armed
Palestinian organizations in Gaza.
In another incident that occurred Saturday, an Israeli aircraft opened
fire at a group of five gunmen near the security fence in north Gaza. A
hit was identified.
First Published: 06.16.08, 08:01