Explosive devices defused along Gaza border: Israel

Published January 19th, 2016 - 12:00 GMT

Several explosive devices were reportedly located overnight Monday and Tuesday morning by Israeli military forces on the borderline between the Gaza Strip and Israel, Israel’s army said.

Israeli forces “uncovered and defused several explosive devices pointed at Israeli territory” during "routine activity adjacent to the security fence,” an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an.

Witnesses in the area said that they had heard explosions near the Gaza border east of Khan Younis in the southern area of the besieged enclave.

The army spokesperson said that initial inquiries indicated the explosive devices had been “planted prior to Operation Protective Edge,” referring to the deadly Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip during the summer of 2014.

A Palestinian was killed and three others were injured by Israeli artillery fire last week in the northern Gaza Strip after the Israeli army said the four planned to attack forces on the borderline.

The army said at the time that forces, in cooperation with Shin Beit, had targeted a “terrorist cell planning to detonate an explosive device against Israeli forces” stationed on the borderline.

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.”

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri held Israel responsible for last week’s attack, and warned against further Israeli military action in Gaza.

Israeli forces made at least 56 military incursions into the Gaza Strip in 2015, according to documentation by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and have killed over 20 Gaza residents since October during popular demonstrations.

Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip have vocally supported a wave of individual attacks recently carried out inside of Israel, Jerusalem, and the West Bank, but have yet to carry out attacks from the strip.

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