IDF soldier, terrorist killed in Gaza border gun battle (ISRAEL HAYOM) Israel Hayom Staff and News Agencies 06/01/12)
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Golani soldier killed in incident is named as Staff Sgt. Netanel
Moshiashvili • Terrorist breaches the security fence along border
with Gaza, opens fire on Israeli troops, and is killed by return
fire • The plan may have been to abduct an Israeli soldier.
An Israeli soldier and a Palestinian terrorist were killed in a
gunbattle on Friday that erupted near the southern Gaza border, the
Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
The soldier killed in the incident was later identified as Staff Sgt.
Netanel Moshiashvili, 21, from Ashkelon who served as a medic in the
Golani Brigade. Moshiashvili´s funeral was scheduled to take place
Friday afternoon at the military cemetery in Ashkelon.
The incident began when a Palestinian terrorist infiltrated into
Israel early Friday, setting off a shoot-out that left him and
Moshiashvili dead, the IDF said.
The border clash near Kibbutz Nirim touched off fresh violence in the
volatile area neighboring Gaza, which has been largely calm since
March. However, last week, two Israeli soldiers, one of whom
commanded another Golani company, were wounded from sniper fire in
the same area.
Friday´s exchange of fire began after the terrorist cut through the
fence separating the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and southern Israel,
prompting Israeli troops to open fire. According to reports, the
terrorist succeeded in entering Israel under the cover of early
morning fog and was only identified by spotters once he cut through
The terrorist was reportedly planning either to kidnap an Israeli
soldier or to perpetrate a larger-scale shooting attack.
No group has claimed responsibility for the infiltration, but in a
text message sent to journalists, a group from Gaza, the Islamic
Jihad, welcomed the attack. It identified the attacker as Ahmad
Nassar and called him a "martyr who has carried out the heroic
Later, an Israeli army spokesperson said that two rockets fired from
Gaza had exploded in southern Israel on Friday, but caused no damage
or injuries. A large number of IDF and security forces were deployed
near Gaza border communities and were sweeping the area for
additional terrorists who may have also crossed the border.
Following the shooting incident, Israeli forces launched airstrikes
at targets in Gaza , seriously wounding three people, according to
Gaza health official Adham Abu Salmia. According to Army Radio, the
airstrikes targeted another suspected terror cell that had been
planning to launch rockets into Israel.
Palestinian witnesses said they heard an explosion and shooting near
Abassan, a border village in southern Gaza that is also close to the
Egyptian frontier. Residents of southern Gaza said they heard gunfire
in the early morning hours and described hearing Israeli helicopters
circling in the air.
An Israeli security official said air and ground forces had fired
warning shots toward open areas in southern Gaza, which Palestinians
said set fire to some fields. The official spoke on condition of
anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of
A senior IDF officer told Channel 2, "The soldiers operated swiftly
and managed to kill the terrorist, even though they were completely
surprised by the encounter. Spotters noticed the terrorist
infiltrating. It´s possible he was planning a large-scale attack."
Gaza saw a surge in cross-border fighting in March, but violence had
otherwise abated as rival Palestinian factions negotiate power-
sharing deals and monitor political developments in Egypt. Friday´s
incident was considered serious as it shattered the long period of
relative quiet along the Gaza border.
The IDF said it holds Gaza´s Hamas rulers responsible for the
attack. "The Hamas terror organization is solely responsible for any
terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip," the statement said.
The flare-up on Friday comes after Israel Security Agency head Yoram
Cohen warned on Wednesday that Israel must launch a military
operation to rout terrorist organizations from the Gaza Strip.
"The IDF´s inaction against terrorist organizations will lead to a
situation in which Hamas has far greater abilities in the next round
of fighting," Cohen told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense
Cohen said Israel’s dilemma was not whether to launch such an
offensive, but rather how Hamas would respond. "Such action might
force a significant number of people [in Israel] into bomb shelters,"
"Since the IDF withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, the territory has
become a huge weapons depot," Cohen told the committee. "Hamas
currently has 8,000 rockets that can reach a range of 4 to 40 km (2.5
to 25 miles)."
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