Incursion comes amid relative calm along frontier, as Israel and Hamas largely abide by unofficial ceasefire
By Judah Ari Gross and TOI staff
Today, 11:26 am
A drone from the Gaza Strip penetrated Israeli airspace on Monday morning before it was shot down, the Israel Defense Forces said.
“IDF troops spotted the drone entering from the Gaza Strip. The drone was shot down by IDF soldiers and it has been sent for investigation,” the military said in a statement.
The often restive border area has been relatively calm in recent weeks, after fresh understandings were reached late last month between Israel and the Hamas terror group, the de facto ruler in the Palestinian enclave.
Despite the relative quiet along the frontier, some 7,000 Palestinians participated in weekly protests along the Gaza border Friday, the Israeli military said.
In addition, three Palestinians were arrested early Sunday after crossing from the Strip into southern Israel, the IDF said. A fragmentation grenade and “arson materials” were found on the three, the army said in a short statement.
Gazans, some of whom are seeking to escape the Strip’s dire humanitarian crisis, are regularly caught crossing the border into Israel.
A Palestinian man uses a slingshot to throw stones at Israeli forces across the Gaza border on July 5, 2019. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)
On June 29, Israel agreed to a number of economic concessions for Gaza in exchange for Hamas vowing to end arson attacks and other violence along the border, an Israeli official said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has faced considerable criticism from southern residents and politicians on both sides of the aisle for what they say is a failure to respond adequately to ongoing violence by Hamas and other terror groups from the Gaza Strip, either militarily or via a long-term truce.
Since violence along the border began picking up last March, residents of the Gaza periphery have also held a number of protests throughout the country in response to what they see as government inaction in the face of terrorism.