Photo Credit: Ofer Zidon / Flash 90
The IDF Caterpillar D9, operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Combat Engineering Corps for combat engineering and counter-terrorism operations. (file)

The IDF officially declared the area around Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the Gaza Belt region to be a closed military zone on Wednesday evening.

Farmers were ordered to suspend all agricultural activities in the fields along the security fence in all areas along the length of the Gaza border, until further notice.

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Military sources said IDF soldiers are searching for terror tunnels in the area around the Gaza Belt region and along the security fence, according to Israel’s Channel 10 news.

“Several Israeli military bulldozers and diggers penetrated in the early hours this morning east of Rafah and started digging operations in an attempt to search for tunnels,” the Hamas military ‘Al Qassam’ website reported.

Another mortar shell was fired at IDF soldiers operating near the border fence along southern Gaza just after 7 pm Wednesday, the fifth attack of the day and the sixth in 24 hours.

No injuries were reported.

Earlier in the day, the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups released a joint statement claiming responsibility for all of the attacks. Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri warned Israel not to “test the patience of the Palestinian resistance.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

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