IDF soldier killed, three wounded, in bomb blast on Gaza border By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent and Agencies Tags: Israel News, Gaza, Hamas
One Israeli soldier was killed and three others were wounded in a bomb attack near Gaza on Tuesday morning. It was the first deadly attack by Palestinian militants since a cease-fire went into effect in the coastal strip 10 days ago.
The incident occurred when the roadside bomb exploded near an Israel Defense Forces patrol along the Gaza border, near the Kissufim crossing.
The soldier killed served as an NCO. The wounded were an officer, who sustained serious wounds, and an additional NCO and soldier, who were lightly hurt. The wounded were taken for treatment to the Soroka hospital in Be'er Sheva. The soldiers' families have been informed of the incident.
A Palestinian was reportedly killed in ensuing clashes between IDF soldiers and Gaza militants in the area.
Early Tuesday, heavy gunfire was audible along the border in central Gaza and Israeli helicopters hovered in the air, firing bursts from their machine guns, Palestinian witnesses said.
Gaza medical workers identified the Palestinian killed as a farmer.
Following the incident, a political source in Jerusalem said that Israel must respond strongly and fiercely.
Although there was no claim of responsibility for Tuesday's attack, Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas leader, said Israel was to blame for continuing to fire into Gaza. Al-Masri said his group had not agreed to a full cease-fire but only to a lull in fighting.
"The Zionists are responsible for any aggression," he said.
Israel has warned that it would respond harshly to any violations of the cease-fire, which ended the Israel Defense Forces' 22-day offensive against Hamas in Gaza.
Israel's stated goals in the campaign were the halting of cross-border rocket fire, the destruction of Hamas' infrastructure and the restoring of its deterrence. After the operation, Israel declared that it had achieved its objectives.
Tzipi Livni: Israel must respond immediately to Gaza bomb attack By Barak Ravid and Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz Correspondents Tags: Gaza, Hamas, Tzipi Livni
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Tuesday said that Israel needed to respond immediately to the killing of an Israeli soldier in a bomb blast on the Gaza border earlier in the day.
"If there is an incident on the border and someone shoots, there's a bomb there or the smuggling of arms, Israel needs to respond immediately," said Livni.
One Israeli soldier was killed and three others were wounded near Gaza on Tuesday morning, in the first serious clash since a cease-fire went into effect in the coastal strip more than a week ago.
Livni added: "Israel doesn't need to demonstrate restraint against terror in the Gaza Strip. This was true before the operation, and it is true after it."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak told military academy cadets on Tuesday that the incident "is serious, and it cannot be accepted and we will respond. There is no benefit in specifying [the response]."
Barak added that Israel's recent offensive in Gaza, code-named Operation Cast Lead, was "a very hard blow for Hamas."
He said the campaign did not mean that Hamas would no longer be Israel's enemy, or that there would be no more attempted attacks along and inside the border, or no other incidents that Israel would have to respond to.
"But in my estimation, we are on our way to a period that they will remember very well, like Hezbollah remembers the blow it absorbed in Lebanon two-and-a-half years ago," Barak said.