Three Arabs armed with knives and hand grenades entered Israel on Tuesday morning from the Gaza Strip and were arrested near the IDF Tze’elim base, about some 12 miles inside Israel. Before the capture, the IDF announced that human traces had been identified near the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip.
Security footage showing the Gazan terrorists freely walked around the entrance to Kibbutz Tzeilim:
According to the IDF Spokesperson’s announcement, the footprints were spotted during routine activity, and soldiers were sent out to searched the area.
This is the second time in four days that Gaza Arabs have been able to penetrate Israel’s border fence. On Saturday afternoon, four Arabs entered Israeli territory through the security fence along the Gaza Strip border near Kibbutz Kissufim around 5 PM, carrying bags containing bottles of flammable materials. They tried to set fire to engineering vehicles and returned to the Gaza Strip unharmed.
Sources in the defense establishment told Ha’aretz Tuesday morning that the latest infiltration was a more serious incident than on Saturday. The three armed Arabs managed to walk 12 miles inside Israel without being spotted, passing by Israeli settlements, including inside the entrance to Kibbutz Tze’elim, and they could have entered and carried out a bloody attack.
Eshkol Regional Council head Gadi Yarkoni said that the infiltration by the Arabs “is grave and will be investigated by the army,” adding that “at the same time, the capture proved the effectiveness of the security forces and the courage of our people – IDF soldiers and security personnel in the communities, who, once they had identified the traces in our territory, enlisted completely until the infiltrators had been captured.”
MK Haim Yellin, a former head of the Eshkol Regional Council and member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that “the question of how the terrorists managed to penetrate 12 miles into Israel from the Gaza Strip should be immediately checked by all the elements in the defense establishment. […] We must draw the conclusions immediately and act to correct the mistakes, without looking to pin blame and without delay.”