The five armed men were reported to be members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s military wing, Saraya al-Quds.
BY ANNA AHRONHEIM AUGUST 18, 2019 01:21
Five armed Palestinians were killed by IDF troops as they tried to cross into southern Israel from Beit Hanoun shortly after three rockets were launched into southern Israel, the IDF said on Saturday night
“A short time ago, an IDF force identified a number of armed suspects near the Gaza perimeter fence,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement, adding that “an IDF attack helicopter and tank fired at them.”
The five armed men were reported to be members of both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s military wing, Saraya al-Quds. They were engaged and killed by IDF troops who fired flares to locate the suspects as they attempted to infiltrate across the border fence.
The rocket fire came as tensions have risen in the south following several violent infiltrations along the border fence. In less than two weeks, six armed Palestinians were able to infiltrate into Southern Israel before being engaged by IDF troops and killed.
Last week it was reported that the defense establishment has begun planning to build an additional wall along the border close to where Saturday’s infiltration occurred.
According to a report on Israel’s Channel 12 last week, the Defense Ministry is planning to build a 6 m. (20 feet) high defensive wall inside Israeli territory along a 9 km. stretch of Route 34 between the communities Yad Mordechai and Sderot.
It is expected to cost tens of millions of shekels and the Defense Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office are currently discussing where the budget for its construction will come from.
The additional wall, which is meant to provide nearby communities with additional protection from terrorist infiltrations, comes in addition to another barrier, large sand berms and planting of trees to protect citizens from threats like anti-tank fire emanating from the Strip following the death of an Israeli civilian by a Kornet anti-tank missile fired at his car in May.
Israel’s new upgraded barrier with the Strip is expected to be completed – both above and underground – by next summer to remove the threat of cross-border attack tunnels and stop terrorists from Gaza intent on carrying out attacks from infiltrating into southern Israel.
The attempted infiltration came after three rockets were fired towards southern Israel, with one Qassem rocket striking the yard of a home in Sderot.
The rocket fire on Saturday night was the second time in a row with a rocket fired from the Hamas-run enclave on Friday night leading to Israeli retaliatory strikes.
Following the rocket fire the cities of Beersheba, Ashdod, Ofakim, Gan Yavne and Yavne opened their municipal bomb shelters ahead of possible continued rocket fire.
Magen David Adom rescue services service also said it was going on high alert in southern Israel following the violence.