IDF records hit on jihadist sniper squad targeting troops on Gaza border

The sniper attack comes after Israel announced on Tuesday that it would relax a number of restrictions on Gaza.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

The IDF returned fire at a squad of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) snipers on Wednesday after the terrorists shot at IDF soldiers on the Israeli side of the Gaza fence.

“A short while ago, IDF troops identified a sniper squad of the Islamic Jihad terror organization that fired from the area of Khan Yunis in Gaza at IDF troops inside Israeli territory. No injuries were reported,” the IDF said in a statement.

“IDF troops and the Israeli Police Counter Terrorism Unit (Yamam) identified the squad through observations and fired at it. A hit was identified,” a later statement said.

The Army said it will continue operating to thwart any terror activity emanating from the Gaza Strip to Israeli territory.

It doesn’t appear that the sniper attack will influence Israel’s earlier announced decision on Tuesday to relax a number of restrictions on Gaza, a result of relative quiet from the Strip.

Easing includes expanding the Gazans’ permitted fishing zone from 10 to 15 nautical miles and granting permits to 7,000 day workers to enter Israel instead of the current 5,000.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promised a “big surprise”  if the terror groups didn’t stop attacking Israel.

“Hamas and the other terrorist organizations such as Islamic Jihad, whose commander [Baha Abu al-Ata] we eliminated a few weeks ago, have to understand that either there is complete quiet and they rein in the rogue factions… or we will have no choice but to launch our operational programs,”  Netanyahu said in an interview with Army Radio on Tuesday.

“I can’t share what they are, but I can say it will be a big surprise,” he said.

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett also warned Hamas on Tuesday that if they “behave nicely it will be good for Gaza residents.” If not, “it will be bad for Gaza residents.”

“Three days of quiet don’t interest us. The test is long-term. I am very skeptical about all the promises,” he said.