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July 8, 2014 2:22 pm

Fearing Terror Infiltration, Officials Order Citizens of Israel’s South to Remain in Bomb Shelters

avatar by Dave Bender

Israel Air Force helicopter on maneuvers (Illustration, Photo: Dave Bender)

Israel Air Force helicopter on maneuvers. Photo: Dave Bender.

Israeli officials on Tuesday night told residents in areas bordering the southern Gaza Strip to remain in bomb shelters and protected spaces due to fears of a Hamas terror infiltration into the area.

The IDF said terrorists had detonated a tunnel in area of the Kerem Shalom Crossing between Israel and Gaza, according to Israel Radio.

It is unclear, as of this posting, if the explosion was an intentional method of breaking out of the tunnel within Israeli territory.

Residents are being told to shelter in place, as initial reports indicate heavy exchanges of gunfire, and IDF helicopters hovering in the vicinity.

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The development comes in the wake of an attempted infiltration into an army base from the sea near Kibbutz Zikim, just north of the coastal enclave earlier in the evening.

In that incident, troops killed five gunmen in the bid to carry out a terror attack under cover of a heavy rocket barrage overhead, the IDF Spokesman said.

It is unclear if the Israeli Navy engaged the attackers en route to their beachfront landing, which took place several dozen meters from the Gaza border.

An army spotter in a watchtower identified the attackers, and alerted forces. One soldier sustained minor wounds in the firefight, Israel Radio said.

Hamas took responsibility for the attack, and police are hunting for possible other terrorists in the vicinity.

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