Another clash in Strip; soldier wounded after being hit by sniper fire in southern Gaza Friday evening; meanwhile, Palestinians say two boys killed in earlier clash after IDF fired at Islamic Jihad cell
Latest Update: 05.21.10, 21:25 / Israel News
Escalation in Gaza: An IDF soldier sustained moderate wounds Friday evening after a Palestinian sniper fired at him from within the Gaza Strip.
The soldier, a tracker, was near the border fence in southern Gaza at the time of the incident. He sustained two bullet wounds to his shoulder and was taken for treatment at Soroka hospital in Beersheba.
The Salah al-Din Brigades of the Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for the shooting attack. Group spokesman Abu Mujehad told Ynet that a sniper with the organization fired several shots at the soldier as he was crossing the border fence's gate.
Earlier Friday, two Palestinians were killed near the Gaza fence, in the vicinity of Kibbutz Nirim, following a fierce gunfight with IDF forces. Palestinian sources, including eyewitnesses, told Ynet that the troops were firing at an Islamic Jihad cell approaching the fence.
Military officials said that the latest events show that despite the relative quiet in the area, various terror groups continue to make an effort to carry out attacks.
"We can see a certain trend on this front particularly on Fridays, yet for us the level of alert is high at all times," one IDF official said.
'2 relatives shot'
Meanwhile, sources in Khan Younis told Ynet that the two Palestinians killed in the Gaza clash were 16 and 17-year-old relatives who happened to be in the area while the Jihad cell attempted to plant an explosive device by the fence.
The two boys sought to run away from their families because of a family dispute, the sources said, adding that their relatives chased them in order to keep them away from the fence. The two were killed when the IDF fired at the Islamic Jihad cell, the Palestinians said.
However, the IDF said that Kalashnikov rifles and magazines were found on the bodies of the two dead Palestinians. The Gaza sources, however, said that any weapons found at the site belonged to the Islamic Jihad cell.
The Islamic Jihad issued a statement earlier, claiming that its members repelled an IDF attempt to enter Palestinian territory. However, sources in Khan Younis said that an IDF force accompanied by several bulldozers entered the Gaza Strip, cleared obstacles in some areas, and razed two homes before withdrawing back into Israel.
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