IDF says suspects caught and questioned in two incidents overnight at southern border fence
By Emanuel Fabian2 Aug 2021, 9:51 am
Four Palestinians, three of them armed with knives, were detained by Israel Defense Force soldiers after infiltrating into southern Israel overnight from the Gaza Strip, the military said Monday morning.
In a first incident, a suspect armed with a knife and carrying bolt cutters crossed into Israel from the Gaza Strip through the southern section of the border fence, according to the IDF.
The suspect was detained and taken for questioning.
Later, in the early hours of Monday morning, three suspects — two of them carrying knives — were detained by soldiers in the same area after also entering Israel from Gaza, according to the IDF.
The army said the second group was questioned at the scene, but did not say if they were taken into custody or had been returned to the Strip.
It was not clarified if the army believed the two incidents were linked.
While Israel has a high-tech series of fences and walls guarding its frontier with Gaza, both above and below ground, a number of gaps remain in the steel fencing surrounding the Strip.
In times of low visibility, these gaps have been used by Palestinians in Gaza to illegally enter Israeli territory, often with hopes of fleeing the beleaguered enclave.Advertisement
Last month, four Palestinians, some armed with knives, were detained by IDF soldiers in the same area.
In June, a man who crossed the border, armed with an improvised bomb, a grenade and two knives, was arrested by soldiers.
While attacks on Israeli civilians by those infiltrating from Gaza are rare, in May, a Palestinian man, who crossed into Israel armed with several knives, attacked and lightly wounded a security guard some five kilometers from the border fence.
Though Palestinians regularly attempt to cross into Israel from Gaza, it is highly uncommon for them to make it so far into Israeli territory without being seen and detained by Israeli troops.
The attack in May came days after the 11-day conflict between Israel and Gaza terror groups ended.