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July 30, 2018 12:03 pm

IDF on the Hunt for Gaza Sniper Who Shot Two Soldiers on Border in Recent Weeks

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

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

The IDF believes that the same sniper shot two of its soldiers in separate incidents this month on the border with the Gaza Strip.

The Hebrew news site Walla quoted IDF officials as saying on Monday that the assumption is that a highly-skilled shooter both killed Staff Sergeant Aviv Levi of the Givati Brigade on July 20 and critically wounded another officer five days later under cover of the ongoing riots on the Israel-Gaza border.

In the second case, a group of children was used to draw the IDF into the line of fire.

Both soldiers were wearing protective gear, but the high-powered rounds fired by the sniper succeeded in penetrating their body armor. It is believed that the weapon used was of Iranian origin.

“We are not talking about a coincidence,” said an IDF official.

It is thought that sniper was supported by Hamas forces on the ground. A official in the IDF’s Southern Command stated, “It is unlikely that the sniper acted on Palestinian territory under Hamas’ nose without support from additional professional entities. The assessment is that he received support and approval from the unit he is working in with the goal of exacting a price from the IDF — a Hamas fighter for an IDF soldier.”

The IDF is taking precautions against further attacks. Walla quoted a soldier stationed on the border saying, “The commanders believe that the sniper will use the chaotic atmosphere on the border in order to attack again. We need to be professional enough not to play into his hands. To be exposed as little as possible.”

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