Tħe Times of Israel : Palestinian snipers shot and killed an IDF soldier on the Gaza border on Friday, the army said late Friday night, revealing details on the deadly incident that apparently sparked the night’s widespread Israeli strikes on Hamas targets across Gaza.
“Today, an IDF combat soldier was killed during operational activity near the southern Gaza Strip. During the incident, a terrorist squad shot at IDF troops and the IDF soldier was severely injured. He later succumbed to his wounds,” the army said.
Details of the incident were withheld for several hours until the soldier’s family were notified. His name was not immediately published.
Earlier the IDF said Gaza snipers had opened fire on troops, calling it the “most serious incident since the 2014 Gaza war. In response the Israel Air Force launched a major wave of strikes at Hamas targets across the Gaza Strip on Friday evening.
“At this time our aircraft are carrying out widespread attacks against terror targets belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said, adding that this came after the “serious shooting incident against our forces,” referring to sniper fire at IDF troops during a riot on the border earlier in the day.
The army said 25 targets were hit, including the “Hamas brigade headquarters in Zeitoun.” The army said the headquarters were completely destroyed along with “weapons and ammunition stores, training grounds, observation posts, control centers and the offices of the brigade commander.”
Later, the IDF said it had also destroyed the Hamas brigade based in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. “In the attack we destroyed the battalion command and control center, the commander’s office and also their special air capabilities, including a drone storage facility and air defense systems.”
The army said it also destroyed “elements for constructing underground infrastructure.”