IDF says Palestinian man was caught after crossing into Israel from Strip, had stashed grenades along border before arrest
By TOI staff12 Mar 2021, 6:53 pm
Israeli troops on Friday arrested an armed Palestinian man who crossed into Israel from the Gaza Strip, the military said.
An initial interrogation revealed the suspect had three grenades he left along the border barrier before he was caught, according to an Israel Defense Forces statement.
The IDF said the suspect, who entered Israel from northern Gaza, was taken in for further questioning.
Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up
The incident came a day after the Gaza-ruling terror group Hamas blamed Israel for an explosion that killed three fishermen off the coast of the Strip earlier this week, leading several armed factions in Gaza to vow revenge.
Hamas interior ministry spokesperson Iyad al-Bozm said that the three fishermen were killed by an explosion caused by a downed Israeli drone that had been caught in their net.
Israel has denied any involvement in the incident.
Family and relatives mourn the deaths of three fishermen from the Al-Lahham family in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 7, 2021. Three Palestinian fishermen were killed when their boat exploded off Gaza’s coast in the Mediterranean Sea. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Observers had suspected that a mortar or rocket launched by Hamas had unintentionally struck the fishermen’s boat, killing them instantly. Hamas regularly fires experimental rockets toward the sea, both to test their military capacities and as a show of force.
Islamic Jihad vowed revenge against Israel following Thursday’s announcement by Hamas, saying that Israel bore responsibility for the fishermen’s deaths.
“The occupation is behind this hideous crime and has committed this odiousness. A response will surely arrive from the Palestinian resistance,” Islamic Jihad said in a statement.
Following the threats, rocket sirens sounded in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon and the nearby community of Kibbutz Zikim, in what the military said was a false alarm