Hamas terrorist breaches Gaza border, shoots IDF officer, two infantrymen

IDF officer and two soldiers were wounded in an ambush on the Gaza border.

By TPS and World Israel News Staff

An IDF officer and two soldiers were wounded on Wednesday night after a terrorist from the Gaza Strip breached the security fence into Israel and fired at the forces. The troops responded by shooting and killing the terrorist.

The officer, of the Golani Brigade, sustained moderate injuries, and the other troops were lightly injured. They were evacuated by helicopter to Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva.

Responding to the severe incident, the IDF targeted a Hamas military post near the Gaza border.

IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis stated that the terrorist belonged to the Hamas terror organization and was wearing a uniform during the attack. He added that the terrorist was carrying several hand grenades and used one of them before being killed by IDF fire.

The IDF said that it appears that the terrorist acted on his own initiative.

Gazan sources identified the terrorist as Hanny Abu Saleh, a member of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, as well as a member of Hamas’ police. He belonged to a force whose purpose is to prevent rocket launches by non-Hamas terror groups and to stop infiltration into Israel.

His brother Fadi was killed in a clash with Israeli forces last May during the Hamas-organized riots known as the “March of Return.” As Fadi was a cripple and confined to a wheelchair it led to widespread anger among Arab residents, Ynet reports. The IDF did not comment on whether it thought Hanny’s attack was in revenge for his brother’s killing.

The incident occurred just hours after the IDF completed a large-scale exercise to improve its readiness in combating threats posed by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, the largest such drill since Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.

“We have strengthened our preparedness for a possible campaign in Gaza… which could break out any day,” said IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi on Wednesday at the conclusion of the exercise.