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25 Mar, 2018 00:45

Israeli jets pound Gaza target after ‘border fence breach & arson attempt’

Israeli jets pound Gaza target after ‘border fence breach & arson attempt’

The Israel Defense Forces have struck a ‘Hamas target’ in the Gaza Strip, in retaliation for a border breach and an infiltration attempt by four Palestinians into Israel, the IDF has said.

According to an IDF statement, the Israeli Air Force targeted a military compound in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, after Palestinians armed with Molotov cocktails illegally crossed the separation wall and entered Israel.

“The IDF will continue to thwart all attempts to harm the State of Israel and will respond severely against those who wish to harm Israeli civilians,” the IDF tweeted, adding that “Hamas is held responsible for all aggression coming from the Gaza Strip.”

Earlier the IDF said that the security fence near Kibbutz Kissufim was “damaged” and four Palestinians carrying bottles “filled with flammable material” illegally crossed the border, trying to set fire to an engineering vehicle at around 5 pm local time on Saturday.

The 'infiltrators', however, fled back to Gaza when Israeli troops arrived at the scene, Haaretz reports, citing the military.

READ MORE: Israel hits Hamas targets in Gaza with tank fire & airstrikes after 4 soldiers wounded in blast

A video, purportedly showing the Palestinian infiltration, was released by Al-Jazeera. It shows a group of four masked men, cutting through a portion of the security fence, with the help of a fifth. The four men then quickly run up to the construction site next to the security barrier, where engineering equipment was sitting unattended. After a few moments, smoke is seen rising from the area.

“We will work determinedly and with a heavy hand against any damage to Israel’s security infrastructure and any attempt to enter Israel,” Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Yoav Mordechai said on Saturday, responding to the incident, noting that Hamas is “encouraging” the population to “disrupt order near the Israel-Gaza border.”

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