Three Palestinians who were shot dead by Israeli soldiers on Tuesday night as they infiltrated across the Gaza border fence were apparently planning to carry out a terror attack, according to the IDF.
The military does not yet know if the three — 17 and 18 years old from refugee camps near Deir al-Balah in central Gaza — were sent by a Palestinian terror group, but is investigating, IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman told reporters on Wednesday.
Zilberman noted that the suspects were armed with explosives, a knife and a screwdriver, and behaved as if they were terrorists on a mission.
“There are those who cross, then stop; those who cross, then run; and those who cross, then continue like they have a mission. They did the last two things,” Zilberman said.
“This wasn’t a spontaneous crossing,” he added.
They were under IDF surveillance from 8:35 p.m., before they crossed into Israeli territory, as they moved toward the security fence. They crossed over about a mile and a half from Kibbutz Kissufim and were then surrounded by IDF troops and a tank battalion.
“Once they were surrounded, the terrorists realized they’d been spotted and threw two explosives at the troops,” Zilberman said. In response, the soldiers opened fire and killed them.
An IDF investigation into the incident is ongoing.