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June 18, 2018 8:53 am

IDF Thwarts Attempt by Gaza Terror Cell to Sabotage Border Fence

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

The Israel-Gaza Strip border. Photo: Mary Madigan via Wikimedia Commons.

A Palestinian was killed on Monday when a part of Israel’s fortifications on the Gaza border blew up as he tampered with it, the Israeli military said.

Residents said the 24-year-old man killed in the blast was among a group of Palestinians who approached the border fence, drawing fire from soldiers on the other side. An Israeli military statement described them as “five terrorists who tried to sabotage the (border) security infrastructure.”

“The security infrastructure exploded, and as a result of that, there were casualties among the terrorists,” it said.

Military spokesmen declined to elaborate on the blast or say whether Israel had employed a new counter-measure against incursions.

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Since its last war with Gaza-ruling Hamas in 2014, Israel has stepped up efforts to prevent cross-border attacks, improving rocket interceptors and investing in technologies for detecting and destroying tunnels.

In the past two months, incendiary materials flown into southern Israel from Gaza by kites or helium balloons have destroyed swathes of farmland and forests, and killed wildlife.

In what the IDF described as a response to the blazes, Israeli jets struck nine Hamas targets in northern Gaza on Monday.

“These are terrorist acts that endanger Israeli residents living in southern Israel and damage extensive areas in Israeli territory,” a military statement said of the kites and balloons.

Also on Monday, sirens sounded in outlying Israeli areas and the military said three rockets had been launched toward Israeli territory but one fell short in Gaza.

There were no casualties in the air strikes or rocket launches.

Israel has drafted in civilian drone enthusiasts as army reservists, instructing them to fly their remote-controlled aircraft into the kites, an Israeli general said, but an effective means to stop the kites has yet to be found.

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