‘The incident will not pass in silence,’ Hamas declares after the IDF eliminates an operative believed to be planting an explosive device along the Israel-Gaza border.
By World Israel News Staff
Israeli forces shot and killed a Hamas operative whom they believed was attempting to place a bomb on the border with Israel and Gaza near Kibbutz Erez on Thursday. Hamas was quick to threaten retaliation, saying “The incident will not pass in silence.”
The Gaza Health Ministry reported the the death of the 28-year-old Hamas member Mahmoud al-Adham.
Several hours after the shooting, the Israeli military issued a statement clarifying that soldiers identified two Palestinians near the border fence, but “misidentified” a Hamas operative who was actually part of a unit that controls rioting along the security barrier.
“In retrospect, it appears that the IDF troops who arrived at the location misidentified the Hamas restraint operative to be an armed terrorist and fired as a result of this misunderstanding,” the army declared, according to the Associated Press. The army is reviewing the incident.
Maariv reported that the Palestinian news agency Shihab said that the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, issued a statement saying, “The occupation shot one of our fighters while carrying out his duties. We are assessing this crime, and stress that the incident will not pass in silence. The enemy will bear the consequences of this criminal act.”
On Tuesday, the Al-Qassam Brigades ran a drill simulating a response to an Israeli ground incursion.
Fishing was stopped and a high level of alert was declared. A curfew was imposed on some streets and traffic stopped as Hamas fighters fanned out along Gaza’s land borders, and closed crossings to civilians and vehicles.
Officials in Gaza estimated that the drill had been prepared ahead of time, possibly in the expectation of a military conflict with Israel in the next few weeks.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Gaza said that a drill’s aim was to evaluate the readiness of Gaza rescue forces and emergency network to handle a “state of emergency.”
The IDF also discovered a tunnel dug from the Gaza Strip into Israel, but thinks it’s an old one. It’s even been suggested that it was the very tunnel through which Gilad Shalit was abducted. Shalit was captured by Hamas militants in a cross-border raid in 2006. He was eventually returned in 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange.