Armed Palestinian arrested after infiltrating into Israel from Gaza

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An explosive device and a knife were found near the man who crossed border fence near Kibbutz Ein Haslosha

The knife the infiltrator from Gaza held as he was arrested (photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
The knife the infiltrator from Gaza held as he was arrested
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)

IDF troops thwarted a possible terror attack late Wednesday night after an armed Palestinian infiltrated into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.

The military said that the suspect was identified as approaching the perimeter fence and infiltrated into Israel near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha which is located near the city of Khan Younis in northern Gaza.

Troops who arrived at the scene arrested the man near the fence and found a suspected explosive device and knife nearby. The explosive device was inspected by sappers and the man was taken in for further questioning.

The military said that there was no danger to the residents of the kibbutz and other communities nearby.

The incident came several hours after the security cabinet approved a new policy allowing Israel to hold onto the bodies of all Palestinian attacks, regardless of whether or not they were affiliated with Hamas or any other terror group.

Welcoming the decision, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that it would strengthen Israel’s deterrence policy.

“Refusal to return the bodies of terrorists is part of our commitment of maintaining the security of Israeli citizens, and of course to bring [the bodies of IDF soldiers killed in battle and Israeli MIAs] home. I hope our enemy understands and internalizes the message well,” he said.

The infiltration also came shortly after Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire following close to three weeks of heightened tensions, with hundreds of incendiary and explosive balloons launched from the coastal enclave and over a hundred retaliatory airstrikes by Israel against Hamas.

According to reports the Qatari mediated agreement include a pledge to carry out several infrastructure projects in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave, increasing the Qatari cash grant to thousands of Palestinian families, reopening all the border crossings with Israel, and expanding the fishing zone.

In addition, there would also be an increase in fuel supply to the power plant in the Gaza Strip in order to solve the electricity crisis there. Other reports quoted sources close to Hamas as claiming that the understandings also require Israel to facilitate the entry of medical supplies and medicine into the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the increase in the number of coronavirus cases.

Following the ceasefire agreement, Khalil al-Hayya the deputy Hamas leader in Gaza, warned that there would be another round of violence if Israel did not fulfill the terms of the agreement by the end of the next two months.

“Our demand is for the occupation to follow all of the prior agreements without procrastinating or delay,” he said in an interview with Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV. “We will give the occupation two months, and we will monitor its behavior in implementing projects and bringing in other projects. They need to implement the projects.”

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

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