IDF forces on the border reportedly saw 2 armed masked-men heading towards Israel’s security fence and fired on them to entice a retreat, killing one member of the terror organization’s military branch, ‘unfortunately’, just as an agreement for calm had come into effect.
By Elior Levi and Yoav Zitun
IDF Spokespersons Unit released a statement saying that after investigation of the shooting incident Thursday that resulted in the death of Hamas security forces member, it appears to be a result of a misunderstanding.
An IDF unit shot and killed a Palestinian near the border wall in the north of the Gaza Strip, according to Hamas’ military wing. Hamas also threatened Israel with a response: “We will not allow this shooting to go without a response, and Israel will pay for its actions.”
The IDF said that soldiers saw two Gazan gunmen approaching the border wall in the northern Gaza Strip, near Beit Hanoun, and they fired in order to force the two to fall back.
According to reports from Gaza, the 28-year-old man that was killed is a member of Hamas’ security services. Hamas’ military wing stated that, “Israel intentionally fired at one of our members while he was carrying out his duties. We are carrying out an investigation into this crime.”
The incident comes just as a senior Egyptian intelligence delegation is due to enter the Gaza Strip to discuss the agreement for calm
with Israel, and also to restart reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah. These meetings were planned before today’s shooting, but could easily be undermined by Hamas’ response.
The Egyptian delegation will first meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior Fatah officials in Ramallah, as well as possibly meeting with senior Israeli defense officials.
The killing of the gunman comes just as an agreement for calm has come into effect between Israel and Hamas, which was preceded by over 100 fires in southern Israel that began with incendiary balloons launched from Gaza.
However, recent data from Israeli authorities show that the number of fires caused by incendiary balloons from Gaza have gone down in 2019, compared to 2018.
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