IDF tanks responded to a cross-border shooting Tuesday by Gazans in the northern section of the Gaza Strip, Arab sources said. The IDF Spokesman’s Unit said that no Israelis were wounded in the exchange and added that the IDF would continue to respond to any attempts to harm Israeli forces.
Arab sources said that two people were killed.
The incident was the third shooting attack in less than a month: On July 20 Staff Sgt. Aviv Levi was killed by a Gazan sniper during a routine border patrol; the following day there was a second shooting incident at an IDF jeep.
In addition, kite- and balloon-based arson attempts have become a daily occurrence, as have IDF operations to prevent them: The army has targeted kite squads every day for the past week.
Wednesday’s shooting incident also took place under the shadow of ongoing talks with Hamas, for a ceasefire with Israel and a reconciliation agreement with Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.
Despite the talks, however, Israeli officials are pessimistic. Following a a briefing by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and a five hour debate Sunday on the efforts to reach a long, the Security Cabinet could say only that “the IDF is ready for any eventuality,” but that no decision was reached and chances of an agreement are considered minimal. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was said to have expressed doubts that any long term agreement could be reached with Hamas.