IDF Special Forces Officer Killed In Gaza Clash
By TPS • 12 November, 2018
An IDF special forces officer was killed and another officer moderately injured during an an “exchange of fire during operational activity in Gaza,” a military spokesman said early Monday morning.
The spokesman named the dead officer as Lieutenant Colonel M. His full name was not given for security reasons.
Several Palestinians were reported dead in the incident and subsequent aerial and artillery strikes aimed at allowing the force to extract itself from Gaza.
A senior Hamas commander Nour Baraka, 37, the head of the organization’s Khan Younes battalion, was among the dead.
It is unclear whether the force targeted Baraka.
According to a statement released by Hamas, the incident occured late Sunday evening, when an “Israeli special forces unit in a civilian vehicle entered three kilometers into the Gaza Strip in the area of the Ismail Abu Shanab mosque northeast of Khan Younes.”
The statement added that the force had assassinated a commander in the Hamas military wing before being exposed and “repelled by our fighters.”
Hamas said six of its operatives, including Baraka, had been killed in the firefight and subsequent aerial strikes.
The incident led to rumours that an IDF soldier had been kidnapped, however the IDF issued a denial saying all soldiers were accounted for.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cut short his trip to Paris and returned to Israel overnight in the wake of the events. He had been scheduled to meet Monday morning with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Palestinians also fired 17 rockets overnight at communities in the Gaza Belt.
The Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted three rockets, the remaining either fell in open fields or fell short of the border, leading to speculation rockets may have been fired at withdrawing forces.