(February 18, 2018 / JNS) Four IDF soldiers were wounded on Sunday when an explosive device detonated along the Israel-Gaza border. The soldiers from the Golani infantry brigades were removing a flag placed on the Gaza border fence, according to standard procedure east of the Gazan city of Khan Yunis when a bomb attached the flag detonated.
The four soldiers were evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva. Three of the soldiers underwent emergency surgery, but hospital officials said they were not in life-threatening condition. Two of the soldiers injuries are classified as serious. One soldier was moderately injured and one lightly injured.
Saturday night, a missile launched from Gaza made a direct hit on a home in the southern Israeli town of Shaar HaNegev. The family was present at the time of the attack, but the bomb did not detonate, and no one was injured.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on the escalations from a security conference in Munich, stating, “The incident on the Gaza border was a very serious one. We will respond in kind. I am sending to the wounded my wishes for a speedy recovery.”
In a statement, the IDF spokersperson’s unit said, “The IDF views with great severity the attempt by Hamas to carry out seemingly spontaneous demonstrations intended to turn the fence into a confrontation zone and carry out acts of terrorism that would destabilize the Gaza Strip.”
In response to the attacks, Israeli fighter jets and tanks pounded Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early Sunday, destroying at least 18 terror targets. According to the IDF, targets included an attack tunnel, a Hamas weapons factory and observation posts. Two Palestinians were reported injured in the Israeli reprisals.
Many of the sites targeted by the IDF were located in areas that Israel evacuated during the 2005 disengagement from Gaza.