A Palestinian was killed and three others were injured by Israeli artillery fire on Wednesday in the northern Gaza Strip after the Israeli army said the four planned to attack forces on the borderline.
Palestinian medics and security sources told Ma’an that the man was killed and the others sustained serious injuries during a brief military incursion by Israeli forces. The man was identified as Mousa Zaiter, 23.
Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers had crossed the border fence into the strip around 7 a.m. east of Beit Lahiya before leveling lands on the Palestinian side of the border.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli military forces in cooperation with the Israeli Security Agency targeted a “terrorist cell planning to detonate an explosive device against Israeli forces” stationed on the borderline.
Israeli media reported that the alleged "terrorist cell" had been targeted in an airstrike.
Peter Lerner, a head Israeli army spokesman, in a statement following the incident said: “Israeli forces guarding the border with Gaza face a growing threat from hostile terror groups attempting to destabilize the situation on the ground.”
Lerner added that Israeli forces would “continue to protect the residents of Israel and the forces guarding them on the border.”
Over 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers since a wave of unrest escalated in the occupied Palestinian territory in October, the majority during attempted and actual attacks on Israeli military and civilians that have left over 20 Israelis dead in the same time period.