No Day Off for Gaza Border Soldiers, As Hamas Continues Terror Attempts

A barbed wire fence on the Zikim beach, near the border with the northern Gaza Strip. (Corinna Kern/Flash90)

As the country was celebrating Independence Day with a day off from work Wednesday night and Thursday, IDF soldiers remained on high alert on the Gaza border, after numerous attempts to carry out terror attacks throughout the week. On Wednesday night, Israeli soldiers fired at a group of terrorists who were moving suspiciously in the vicinity of the the border fence. The shots sent the terrorists scurrying. Soldiers were dispatched to track them down.

Soldiers will remain on high alert on Friday as well, as Hamas plans to continue its mass rioting tactic at the border fence. The latest terror tactic used by Hamas – attaching a firebomb to a kite and exploding it on the Israeli side of the border fence – was used again Wednesday, with six such attacks since last Friday. Officials believe that the tactic will be used en masse on Friday. In the attacks, kites, controlled from the Gaza side, have landed in the Be’eri forest, several hundred meters away from the border fence, with terrorists exploding the firebombs.

The army announced Thursday that the Reihan checkpoint near Jenin would be closed until further notice. On Wednesday, security forces interdicted a truck that was found to be containing numerous explosives hidden in its roof. Had the truck succeeded in entering Israel, it would have been used in a mass terror attack, security officials said. The officials said that the checkpoint – used by thousands of Palestinian Authority Arabs every day to commute to jobs in Israel – would be closed while security measures were evaluated.

Overnight Wednesday, security officials said they arrested two wanted security suspects in other areas in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.