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In Latest Escalation, Israel Fires at Hamas Outpost after Soldier Shot and Injured

Following the shooting of an IDF soldier on the border with Gaza, an Israeli tank fired on a Hamas outpost killing a terrorist and injuring two others, Reuters reported Tuesday.

According to the IDF, the soldier was lightly injured when a bullet struck his helmet as he was confronting rock throwers near the border fence. At the same time, two rioters briefly crossed into Israel before returning to Gaza.

In a Twitter post, the IDF observed that the soldier’s helmet, damaged by gunfire, constituted “Proof that Hamas sends ARMED terrorists to attack Israelis, while surrounded by civilians and under the guise of ‘protests.’”

The IDF struck back, with tank fire targeting a Hamas lookout post in the center of the Gaza Strip, over which Hamas has complete political and military control. One terrorist, identified as Mahmoud Al-Abd Al-Nabahin, who belonged to Hamas’s Qassam Brigades, was reported killed and two others injured.

In the wake of the escalating violence, Israel refused to allow an expected $15 million donation from Qatar into Gaza. Last year, Qatar pledged $150 million to help prop up the Gaza economy and ease the suffering of Gaza’s residents. Israel allowed the first $15 million payment in November and one more since then.  Within a week of that first payment, Hamas escalated its war against Israel, launching nearly 500 rockets into Israel during a 24-hour period.

Hamas has been maintaining tensions on the border with Israel since late March of last year with the so-called Great March of Return. These have consisted of violent riots at the border. Rioters have attacked Israeli soldiers and attempted to breach the border fence. They also have launched airborne incendiary devices that have started fires, burning thousands of acres of land in southern Israel.

“Large groups of rioters marched on the border with the intent to breach the security fence and infiltrate into the Jewish State – the ‘peaceful protesters’ were carrying guns, knives, stones, explosives, Molotov cocktails, burned thousands of tires and sent kites over Israeli territory with burning objects, causing extensive damage,” is how The Israel Project Senior Fellow Julie Lenarz explained the march, shortly after the campaign began.

[Photo: Israel Defense Forces / Facebook ]